Gabby Petito and her boyfriend had an argument in Moab weeks before disappearance, police say
Details emerged about what Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie argued about 2 weeks before she disappeared
Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old woman who has gone missing after spending weeks in Utah, reportedly had a confrontation with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, about two weeks before her last known appearance.
Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11. However, her last known whereabouts were Grand Teton National Park on Aug. 30. Her boyfriend, Laundrie, returned home to North Port, Florida, on Sept. 1.
On Wednesday, reports surfaced that the two might have been involved in an incident in Moab, Utah. Moab Police Chief Bret Edge told the Deseret News Wednesday that officers responded to an incident involving the couple, but no criminal charges were filed. Details were not made available at the time. A Moab police report with details of the incident has been obtained by multiple outlets and is available to be read online.
Per The Washington Post, Petito and Laundrie had a small fight outside the Moonflower Community Cooperative, which is a natural food store in Moab. A bystander, named Christopher, said he saw Petito slap Laundrie.
According to the report, the couple was stopped on Aug. 12 after there was a report that he saw a male “assault a female.”
Laundrie told police that he and Petito had an argument. He said he “tried to create distance by telling Gabbie to go take a walk to calm down.” He said Petito slapped him. So he “grabbed her face and pushed her back.”
In one emotional moment, Laundrie tried to lock Petito out of the car. But Petito opened the driver’s side door of their van and climbed in over him, entering the car.
“Both the male and the female reported they are in love and engaged to be married and desperately didn’t wish to see anyone charged with a crime,” the report said.
Per BuzzFeed News, one officer said Petito did not “stop crying, breathing heavily, or compose a sentence without needing to wipe away tears, wipe her nose, or rub her knees with her hands.”
An officer then told the couple to have Laundrie stay at a hotel room to “reset” matters.
On Wednesday, the North Port Police said Laundrie was a “person of interest” in the disappearance of Petito.
“Brian Laundrie is a person of interest in this case,” North Port Police said in a statement.
This came with the revelation that Laundrie had returned to North Port, Florida — where Petito and Laundrie were living together — 10 days before Petito was reported missing.
Gabby Petito’s family has pleaded with Laundrie — who has remained silent so far in the case — to share whatever information with the police.
“Everyday the search for Gabby continues the Schmidt and Petito family becomes more desperate. They are frantically searching for answers and information in their daughter’s disappearance while Brian sits in the comfort of his home,” the statement said, per Insider.