Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, 22, and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie, 23, began on July 2 a trip through USA in a van. The young woman was documenting the journey and shared it on her social networks.
But two months later, on September 1, he returned home to Florida, but she never returned. On Sunday, September 19, police confirmed that the body found in a Wyoming forest is that of Gabby, while her fiancé remains unknown. Now, new elements emerge about the couple’s coexistence.
The first indications suggest that it was a homicide, but the forensics in charge of the case did not reveal the exact cause of death.
On Thursday, September 23, a court of Wyoming issued a warrant against Laundrie. This order is not related to the death of the young woman, rather she is accused of illegally using someone else’s debit card and PIN number on August 30 and September 1.
CNN has released new details of a domestic dispute between Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie while traveling through Utah in August. These new elements are based on the body camera of a policeman who attended the case.
A witness to the Aug. 12 altercation described the couple before police arrived as “a kind of fight over a phone” and they beat each other “like two children fighting,” according to CNN.
The incident in Utah occurred two weeks before Petito last contacted her family.
It all started with a call from a witness who told police that he wanted to report a domestic dispute involving a couple who were in a white van, according to 911 audio provided by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.
“We drove by and the gentleman slapped the girl,” said the caller. “Then we stopped. They ran up and down the sidewalk. He proceeded to beat her, got in the car and they left.”
Police located the truck and stopped the couple after the vehicle exceeded the speed limit, abruptly left its lane and hit a sidewalk, according to a police report from Moab agent Eric Pratt accessed by CNN.
The police officer approached the passenger side of the vehicle, where a tearful Petito told him: “We just fought this morning. Personal problems, ”according to the agent’s body camera.
The video shows more of the conversation between Petito and the police
CNN reports that the policeman’s body camera video is more than 52 minutes long and includes Petito telling officers that although Laundrie had hit her, she hit him first.
“Did you slap him first? And just in the face?” Police Pratt can be heard asking Petito. “Well, he kept telling me to shut up,” she replies.
“However, did he hit you? I mean, it’s okay if you say you hit him, and then I understand if he hit you, but we want to know the truth if he really hit you, because you know”, said Pratt.
“I guess, I guess, yeah, but I hit him first.” Petito responds. Then the agent asks where he hit her, tells her to be honest.
“Well, he grabbed my face, like, I guess. He didn’t like it, he hit me in the face. He didn’t punch me in the face or anything.” Petito tells her.
“Did he slap you or what?”, asks Pratt.
“Well he, like, he grabbed me with his nails, and I think that’s why it looks, he definitely cut me here, because I can feel it. When I touch it, it burns me”, says Petito.
In a moment, Petito asks the agents not to separate her from Laundrie, saying “Like we are a team, please. It’s going to give me a lot of anxiety. Can we have, like, a driving ticket?”
“The best thing I can do is call my supervisor and see if I am missing something here”, the agent tells her.
Petito sobbing, offers to pay any fines instead of charges. Pratt tells her to try to calm down, offering to call his supervisor to “see if the supervisor can tell me something that I am missing so that this does not happen”.
CNN maintains that Laundrie had small visible scratches on his face and right arm, but “did not fear for his safety” and “did not show any indication that he might be a victim of ‘battered boyfriend syndrome'”.
“It was assessed that he was at low risk of danger or harm as a result of his proximity to his fiancée.”
The video also provides the audio of a witness account of the dispute. “What I noticed was that it looked like they were fighting over a phone. I mean he was trying to grab her phone and I’m not sure exactly why,” says the witness to the policeman.
“And then it looks like he had walked over to the side of the truck and wouldn’t let her in, and then the man was getting in the driver’s seat and she was trying to get into the truck, and he said something about that, ‘Why what are you being so mean?’, something like that. I remember her hitting him a couple of times. And they were not fists in the face, but like two children fighting”, says the witness.
CNN reports that no charges were filed and, at the suggestion of agents, the couple separated overnight. Laundrie stayed at a hotel and Petito took the truck.
They knew each other since they were kids
Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito were high school sweethearts, attending Long Island, New York.
They had moved in together at Laundrie’s parents’ home in North Port, Florida, in 2019, and got engaged in July 2020.
The two young men documented their nomadic “van life” through the national parks of the American West on Instagram and YouTube.
His trip was scheduled to last four months. But Laundrie returned home to Florida on September 1 alone.
The girl’s family reports her disappearance 10 days later.
Police consider Laundrie as a “person of interest” in the investigation.
The family reported the disappearance of Brian Laundrie after he went climbing in a national park on September 14 and never returned.
Documents recently obtained by CNN from Pinellas County show that the mother of Brian Laundrie had made a reservation to camp at Fort De Soto Park for the first weekend in September.
The original dates reserved at the park were September 1-3, for two. That reservation was made on August 24, but was later canceled on August 31.
Pinellas County records show that Roberta Laundrie made a new reservation on September 3, two days after her son returned home. This reservation was scheduled to begin Sept. 6 for three people at Fort De Soto Park, which is located about 75 miles from the family’s home, according to CNN.
Steven Bertolino, an attorney for Laundrie’s family, confirmed to CNN that the family went camping at the time, adding that the family left the park together.
CNN also reports that on September 4, Brian Laundrie purchased a cell phone at an AT&T store in North Port. Now the FBI has that phone, which was left by Laundrie when he went on a field trip.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.