Gabby Petito: Bodycam footage shows her crying after fight with Brian Laundrie
The footage released by Moab City PD shows officers responding to a 911 call about a 'domestic incident' between Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie
MOAB, UTAH: The Moab City Police Department in Utah has released body camera footage of the officers' interaction with missing Florida woman Gabby Petito and her fiance Brian Laundrie on August 12, 2021.
MEAWW previously reported how Moab police responded to a domestic violence complaint on August 12, two weeks prior to Petito's mysterious disappearance. The report identified Petito and her fiance Laundrie as the arguing couple. Petito was reportedly seen hitting him in the arm.
The footage released by Moab City PD shows officers responding to a 911 call about a domestic incident between Petito and Laundrie. The couple's white van was located by authorities and was pulled over. The more than an hour-long video showed the police separating Petito and Laundrie before each described their version of events that led to the 911 call.
Petito was emotional and sobbing as she described the incident. However, the police report listed Laundrie as the victim and Petito as the suspect. Chief Bret Edge noted, however, that there was not enough evidence for charges. "Neither Brian nor Gabrielle were the reporting party," he said. "Officers conducted an investigation and determined that insufficient evidence existed to justify criminal charges."
"The male tried to create distance by telling Gabbie to take a walk to calm down," Chief Edge wrote as he summarized the encounter. "She didn't want to be separated from the male and began slapping him. He grabbed her face and pushed her back as she pressed upon him and the van."
All parties agreed that Petito had slapped Laundrie and that he wasn't the one who struck her. There were no serious injuries and none of the parties wanted to press charges related to the domestic violence incident.
Petito told officers she suffers from anxiety disorder and an array of redacted medical conditions. Police categorized the incident as a "mental/emotional health break" rather than a domestic assault. Petito told police that the couple had been arguing over the past couple of days. The duo eventually agreed to separate for the night. Petito took possession of the van, while police helped Laundrie get a hotel room for himself.
The couple did not wish to separate, police said, but they were required to do so considering no charges were being filed. At the time, a responding officer deemed Laundrie to be "at low risk of danger or harm as a result of his proximity to his fiancee Gabbie."
Petito, 22, has been missing since late August and her boyfriend has been named as a "person of interest" by police in Blue Point, Florida where they had lived. She was on a cross-country trip to Oregon with Laundrie when she stopped communicating with her family somewhere in Wyoming.
The North Port, Florida, Police Department is now the primary investigating agency in the case, in partnership with the FBI and the Suffolk County Police Department. Laundrie has lawyered up and has not provided any helpful details to investigators as yet. He is said to have driven back to Florida by himself 10 days before Petito was reported missing.
"As a father, I can imagine the pain and suffering Gabby's family is going through," North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison said. "We are pleading with anyone, including Brian, to share information with us on her whereabouts in the past few weeks. The lack of information from Brian is hindering the investigation. The answers will eventually come out."