Newly released audio recording shows dispatchers telling cops that Brian Laundrie was claimed to have allegedly “hit” Gabby Petito before the couple’s traffic stop in August over a domestic violence incident in Moab, Utah.
“RP [reporting party] states a male hit a female,” a dispatcher told police officers in audio obtained by Fox 13 on Monday, September 27, later informing them of the license plate number. “Domestic. He got into a white Ford Transit van. Has a black ladder on the back. Florida plate. The female who got hit, they both — the male and the female — both got into the van and headed north.”
In the corresponding police report, a responding officer wrote that he believed “it was reported the male had been observed to have assaulted the female,” but later clarified that “no one reported that the male struck the female.” The officer also described the incident “more accurately as a mental [or] emotional health ‘break’ than a domestic assault,” noting there were no significant injuries sustained by either of them, according to the outlet.
The Moab City Police Department and an attorney for the Laundrie family, Steven Bertolino, did not immediately respond to In Touch’s requests for comment regarding the newly released audio.
Petito, 22, said she did strike Laundrie, 23, in previously released video footage from the traffic stop, telling officers in private that she has obsessive compulsive disorder and it caused a dispute between them during their cross-country trek.
Petito was last seen about two weeks later, and her fate came to a tragic end. On Sunday, September 19, her body was found near a campground in Wyoming.
“Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue confirmed the remains are those of Gabrielle Venora Petito, date of birth March 19, 1999. Coroner Blue’s initial determination for the manner of death is homicide,” a press release tweeted by the official Twitter account for FBI Denver read on September 21. Her official cause of death will be confirmed upon pending autopsy results.
The Long Island, New York, native was first reported missing on September 11 after she began traveling toward the west coast with Laundrie in July, documenting their “van life” adventures in a series of posts on social media — all of which came to a halt in late August.
Laundrie, who is now a person of interest in the case, later drove back to his parents’ home in their 2012 Ford Transit van without Petito and wasn’t cooperative when questioned by authorities about her whereabouts. His disappearance was announced by Bertolino on September 17.
On September 23, an arrest warrant was issued for Laundrie’s alleged violation of the “Fraud and related activity in connection with access devices” statute of the U.S. Code, specifically for “whoever knowingly and with intent to defraud produces, uses, or traffics in one or more counterfeit access devices.” When reached by In Touch, Bertolino for the Laundrie family said that the arrest warrant was related to “activities occurring after the death of Gabby Petito and not related to her actual demise.”
Prior to Laundrie going missing himself, Gabby’s father, Joseph “Joe” Petito, opened up about his daughter’s disappearance exclusively with In Touch, claiming Laundrie was “useless” in her missing person investigation before his own disappearance.
“There are ways that he could turn around, through his parents or whoever knows something in that house that can give us information without incriminating somebody,” he said about Laundrie. “I don’t care right now. I want my daughter.”
Joseph has since announced that a funeral service will be held in her honor at Moloney Funeral Home in Holbrook, New York, on Sunday, September 26.
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