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Gabby Petito’s mother reacts to Moab, Utah, incident involving Gabby and Brian Laundrie

Gabby Petito’s mother recently revealed her thoughts on the infamous Moab incident

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Nichole Schmidt, mother of Gabby Petito, speaks in Bohemia, New York.

Nichole Schmidt, mother of Gabby Petito, whose death on a cross-country trip has sparked a manhunt for her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, pauses as she answer reporter’s questions during a news conference on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, in Bohemia, N.Y.

John Minchillo, Associated Press

Gabby Petito’s mother recently revealed how she felt about the infamous Moab incident between her daughter and Brian Laundrie.

In September, police in Moab released body camera footage that showed Petito and Laundrie after a physical altercation between them. At the time, the two were on a cross-country road trip, which took them through Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.

“It’s just hard to watch. I wanted to jump through the screen and rescue her,” Nicole Schmidt said of the footage, per NBC News. “I saw a young girl that needed someone to just hug her and keep her safe. I just felt so bad for her. I wish that she reached out to me.”

The footage came as the couple headed toward Wyoming. Only Laundrie returned to their home in North Port, Florida, on Sept. 1. Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11.

Petito’s body was found on the outskirts of a Wyoming national park on Sept. 19. A coroner ruled she died by strangulation. Laundrie was reported missing on Sept. 17. His whereabouts remain unknown.

Many look back at the Moab incident as a symbol of how the couple — who often documented their lives on social media — might have been less happy than what they portrayed online.

  • “Outside looking in, she did look happy,” Joseph Petito said on “60 Minutes Australia” over the weekend. “But as we look more and more into this, it might not have been as been as great as people online perceived.”

Melissa Hulls, the visitor and resource protection supervisor at Arches National Park, told the Deseret News in an exclusive interview that she could see all the signs of a toxic relationship, and she wished she had done more.

  • “I was imploring with her to reevaluate the relationship, asking her if she was happy in the relationship with him, and basically saying this was an opportunity for her to find another path, to make a change in her life,” she said.
  • “I can still hear her voice,” Hulls told the Deseret News. “She wasn’t just a face on the milk carton, she was real to me.”