CRIME

Moab police describe fight between woman — now missing — and boyfriend

Sep 15, 2021, 4:48 PM | Updated: Sep 16, 2021, 6:07 pm

MOAB, Utah — A newly released police report from Moab City Police Department gives more detail about what happened between Gabby Petito and boyfriend Brian Laundrie in the days before her disappearance. 

A physical argument

The report said police responded to a 911 call from a bystander reporting what looked like Laundrie hitting Petito on Aug. 12. 

According to the report, the Moab officer said he witnessed Petito slapping Laundrie. The boyfriend also pushed her away from him to avoid being hit. 

After talking to the couple, the officer says Petito indicated a heightened level of anxiety.

She also claimed to be afraid Laundrie would leave her in Moab. 

 

A night apart

The responding officer said he thought giving the couple some space separated from each other would be a good idea. 

The police report showed the officer arranged for a hotel room for Laundrie for the night and left Petito to sleep in the van. 

The couple agreed to the arrangement and said traveling together for months had created tension between them. 

The Moab police officer said what he saw did not rise to the level of a domestic assault. 

Gabby disappears

Petito has not been seen or heard from since late August. After traveling through Utah, the couple drove to Teton Village, Wyo. 

For Florida investigators, Laundrie is now a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance. 

Update from Police

On Thursday morning, the North Port Police Department held a news conference where they asked for any help the public could give.

They were joined by Petito’s father as well, “Whatever you can do to help my daughter come home.  I’m asking for that help. There is nothing else that matters to me now. This girl right here,” he said pointing to a photo of his daughter, “This is what matters, anything else comes second to this.

Police Chief Todd Garrison reiterated that point and asked for anyone with information to call the FBI’s anonymous tip line at  1-800-CALL-FBI.

“We share the frustration with the world right now. Two people went on a trip. One person returned and that person that returned isn’t providing us any information,” Garrison told reporters. 

He added that his department has been working closely with the Grand County Sheriff’s Office and that they have also been sharing information about the murders of Kylen Schulte and Crystal Turner that took place in the area.

Petito’s family members have been focusing on Jackson Wyoming in their efforts to find her. 

Another emotional plea from her parents

The Petito and Schmidt families wrote a joint statement directly aimed at the parents of Brian Laundrie.  Their attorney, Rick Stafford, read the letter during a press conference Thursday afternoon.  Stafford says the families understand the Laundrie’s instincts to protect their son, but they’re also convinced the Laundries know where he left Petito.

“We ask you to put yourselves in our shoes.  We haven’t been able to sleep or eat, and our lives are falling apart,” the letter states.

The families go on to tell the Laundries that if they “had any decency left,” they would tell investigators where they should start their search.

The families write, “How could you let us go through this pain and not help us?  As a parent, how could you put Gabby’s younger brothers and sisters through this?”

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Moab police describe fight between woman — now missing — and boyfriend