Newly released bodycam footage from the police encounter with Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie provides additional insight into the young couple’s troubled relationship in the weeks before she disappeared.
The footage from a second officer’s bodycam is a more detailed account of the August 12 incident when officers from the Moab Police Department responded to a 911 call that Petito was being struck by Laundrie and pulled their white Ford van over to investigate.
In the new video, an emotional Petito confirmed to officers that she was struck by Laundrie as she described a fresh wound on her face, “Well he like, grabbed me with his nail, and I guess that’s why it looks, I definitely have a cut right here,” she said, rubbing her cheek. “I can feel it, when I touch it it burns.”
However, Petito attempted to downplay the fight and to take the blame, telling an officer who asked whether her fiancé hit her, “I guess, yea,” she said. “But I hit him first.”
Laundrie described the incident to officers,” I pushed her away,” he said. “She gets really worked up, and when she does she swings and she had her cell phone in her hand. So I was just trying to push her away.”
The new footage also shows police advising Petito on the Utah laws regarding domestic violence and that as the victim, Laundrie would be the one who would be put up in a hotel while she would be allowed to stay with the vehicle, the two were separated before continuing on their trip through the nation’s most scenic national parks that at some point, took a turn into darkness.
The second video was obtained through public records requests by Fox News and FOX 13 Utah, the first video of the police intervention was released on September 16.
Petito’s body was discovered in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on September 19 by the FBI following a tip from a YouTube vlogger who filmed the couple’s vehicle at a remote camping area on August 27, days after she last spoke with her mother.
Teton County Coroner Brent Blue who performed the autopsy made the “initial determination” that Petito’s death with a homicide although the cause of her death “remains pending until final autopsy results” according to a news release by the FBI.
Laundrie, who returned to Florida alone on September 1 refused to cooperate with police after being named a “person of interest” and subsequently vanished, leading to an arrest warrant and a massive manhunt by federal, state, and local law enforcement who continue their efforts to find him.
The search for Laundrie gained star power when it was joined by television personality Duane Chapman, otherwise known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, the former bail bondsman who has caught thousands of fugitives.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 26, 2021
During an interview with former White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Newsmax’s “Spicer & Company,” Chapman gave an update on the search, saying that he has set up a hotline for tips and that he is getting calls “like crazy” as the hunt for Laundrie continues.
"We're getting calls like crazy. I think the success of this bounty hunt is going to be the tip line." @DogBountyHunter gives an update on the search for Brian Laundrie in the Gabby Petito case. @seanspicer @LyndsayMKeith https://t.co/VlT7z8drtO pic.twitter.com/n5mPatFIj1
— Newsmax (@newsmax) September 30, 2021
Petito’s family held a memorial service for her on Sunday in Long Island, New York near where she grew up but justice remains on hold until her killer is found.
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