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Moab Police Chief Bret Edge takes leave of absence, city confirms

A Moab police vehicle is pictured in Moab.
A Moab police vehicle is pictured in Moab on April 18, 2020. Moab Police Chief Bret Edge has taken a leave of absence as of Monday, city officials confirmed.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Moab Police Chief Bret Edge has taken a leave of absence as of Monday, city officials confirmed.

Edge requested leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, according to Moab communications manager Lisa Church.

"The city cannot provide any additional details or comments," Church said in a statement.

The Moab Police Department has been the subject of media attention recently due to the case of Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old woman who was found dead in Wyoming on Sept. 19 after being missing for several weeks. There is no indication whether Edge's leave of absence or its timing is in any way connected to the case.

Edge said last week that the department would seek an independent review of its investigation of a domestic incident involving Petito and her then-fiance Brian Laundrie.

Moab police spoke to Petito and Laundrie near Arches National Park on Aug. 12 after someone reported seeing a man slapping a woman outside a grocery store before the couple drove away. Officers didn't arrest Petito or Laundrie, but made arrangements for him to stay at a hotel instead of staying with Petito in the van they were using to travel.

Church said last week that it was unaware of any breaches of the police department's policy by the officers investigating the incident. Edge said the probe would be made at the request of an outside party, but didn't elaborate.

"We take all complaints seriously and we are committed to fully addressing these concerns," the chief said last week when he announced the department would seek a further review of the incident.

Church said then that it had not been decided what agency would conduct the review, and no scope or deadline had been determined for the investigation. The city hasn't offered any updates since announcing the review.