Gabby Petito Allegedly Involved In Domestic Violence Dispute With Boyfriend Before She Disappeared
New reports regarding the disappearance of 22-year-old Gabby Petito has surfaced, detailing how police responded to an alleged domestic violence dispute before she went missing.
22-year-old Gabby Petito of Long Island was reported missing by her family on September 11. She was last known to be in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park in late August after beginning a cross-country trip with her boyfriend, identified as Brian Laundrie.
The mysterious circumstances regarding her disappearance have continued to surface, including how Laundrie has since returned to his Florida home, has hired an attorney and has refused to publicly comment on matter.
Gabby Petito is still missing, but authorities are beginning to piece together her steps before she mysteriously disappeared.
According to reports, the couple’s vehicle they were using during their travels, a white 2012 Ford Transit van with Florida plates, has been recovered and forensic experts are searching it for clues, evidence and anything else that might be useful in answering what might have happened to Petito.
One incident that may provide perspective on why Petito went missing, has recently been made public. On August 12, two Moab police officers in Daniel Robbins and Eric Pratt, responded to a possible domestic violence incident involving Petito and Laundrie that occurred close to Arches National Park.
A witness who called the police said he ‘feared the worst’ after seeing the couple in the middle of an argument while in their van.
According to Officer Robbins, the couple were having a ‘mental health crisis’ and it seemed that both of them were suffering from mental illness. The police reported that allegedly both had not been taking medication at the time.
Officer Robbins said in his statement that the cross country trip had put a strain on the couple’s relationship. ‘That time spent created emotional strain between them and increased the number of arguments,’ he said.
According to the report, Petito got out of the van and went for a walk in order to relax following the initial argument. Once she returned Laundrie wanted to lock her out of the vehicle. However, Petito was able to get inside the van after some time.
‘He got into their van and Gabrielle had gone into a manic state. Brian said Gabrielle, thinking he was going to leave her in Moab without a ride, went to slap him,’ Officer Robbins said in his statement. ‘As Gabrielle started to swing, Brian pushed her away to avoid the slap.’
While the couple continues to fight, Petito was allegedly able to hit Laundrie in the face, which reportedly resulted in visible scratches.
Despite the heated argument, Robbins reported that he didn’t conclude that it ‘escalated to the level of a domestic assault’.
The altercation resulted in Robbins suggesting that the couple separate for the night. ‘I instructed both Brian and Gabrielle to take advantage of this time apart to relax their emotions and regain control of their anxiety,’ Robbins said in his report. ‘I also asked them to avoid contacting each other until the net morning if at all possible.’
Laundrie spent the night in a hotel while Petito spent the night in the van.
A second officer on the scene, named Eric Pratt, reported that Laundrie ‘grabbed (Gabbie’s) face and pushed her back’. However, ‘no one reported that the male struck the female, both… reported they are in love and engaged to be married and desperately didn’t wish to see anyone charged with a crime.’
Laundrie who now is at home in Florida, has refused to answer any questions regarding Petito’s disappearance. On Wednesday, Petito’s family urged him to speak with investigators.
Petito’s mother released a statement through her attorney:
Brian claims he wants to sit in the background while we search for Gabby in the wilderness of the Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks.
Brian left Gabby in the wilderness with grizzly bears and wolves while he sits in the comfort of his home. In his home!
Brian, how could you do this to Gabby?’
Brian, whatever happened in Wyoming, happened. The only thing you can control is what you do now. Tell us where Gabby is.
An FBI hotline has been set up for anyone who has information on Gabby Petito. Call 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324)
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