Moab police describe fight between woman — now missing — and boyfriend
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.
#NEW Moab Police report says Laundrie and Petito got into a fight.
Laundrie told Petito to calm down— and she didn’t want to be separated & started to slap him. Laundrie grabbed her face and pushed her away as he began to lock her out of the van. She forced her way in (THREAD) pic.twitter.com/AYAFUK6Oxb
— Morgan Wolfe (@MorganWolfeKSL) September 15, 2021
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.
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.
BREAKING: Brian Laundrie has officially been named a person of interest in the disappearance of his girlfriend, Gabby Petito. https://t.co/tmz5LHeOqv
— KSL NewsRadio (@kslnewsradio) September 15, 2021
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.
Just spoke Grand County Sheriff’s Office.
“We are not ruling anything out,” Shan Hackwell told me about the murder of Kylen Schulte and Crystal Turner.
— Morgan Wolfe (@MorganWolfeKSL) September 16, 2021
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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