CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Lawyers say new Petito photos prove Moab Police ignored evidence of abuse

Feb 7, 2023, 1:00 PM

Gabby Petito is pictured, her family has filed a lawsuit...

Gabby Petito is pictured. (Gabby Petito/Instagram)

(Gabby Petito/Instagram)

MOAB, Utah — A new photo of Gabby Petito suggests she was assaulted right before Moab Police pulled her and her fiance over in August 2021. The photo was released as part of an ongoing lawsuit from the Petito and Schmidt family against the Moab Police Department, filed in November 2022.

The photo, provided by Parker and McConkie who are the lawyers representing Petito’s family, shows Petito with red marks under and to the sides of her left eye.

In a press release, the family’s attorneys said Gabby took the photo, “at or before the approximate time of the initial 911 call.”

Lawyers claim Petito’s fiance, Brian Laundrie, violently grabbed her face and that she was documenting her injuries on her phone.

When Moab Police interviewed Petito in the back of a police vehicle, lawyers claim she tried telling them about the injury.

According to the firm’s release, Petito had the following conversation with one officer:

“Petito: “He like grabbed my face, like, I guess. He didn’t like hit me in the face. He didn’t like
punch me in the face.”
Officer: “Did he slap your face or what?”
Petito: “Well, he like grabbed me, like, with his nail, and I guess that’s why it hurts. I definitely
have a cut. Like, I can feel it.”

The family’s attorneys claimed police ignored evidence and did not investigate her injuries when Petito brought it forward.

Three weeks after this interaction with Moab officers, authorities found Petito murdered in Wyoming. Weeks after that, authorities found Laundrie dead in Florida.

According to the FBI, Laundrie claimed responsibility for Petito’s murder in a notebook.

KSL Newsradio reached out to Moab City officials for comment on the new photo. Lisa Church, a spokesperson for Moab, said they cannot comment on ongoing litigation.

If you or someone you know is experiencing trouble linked to domestic violence, the following resources are available.

Utah Domestic Violence LINKLine
1-800-897-LINK (5465)
If LINKLine advocates experience an increased call volume, they will forward calls to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

StrongHearts Native Helpline
1-844-762-8483

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Lawyers say new Petito photos prove Moab Police ignored evidence of abuse