Police have released bodycam footage that shows the moment Utah police confronted 'van-life' woman Gabby Petito and asked her why she slapped her boyfriend Brain Laundrie. The bodycam footage was captured during a police intervention after officers received a 911 call of a domestic incident, just a month before Petito disappeared on their cross-country trip.
The bodycam footage was released by the Moab City Police Department on Thursday. The hour-long footage shows the interaction between the cops and the couple after they pulled over their white van outside Arches National Park in Moab on August 12. Mystery shrouds the disappearance of Petito, with her family worried and her boyfriend remaining silent after returning alone from the cross-country trip.
The footage obtained by ABC 7 shows and emotional Petito, 22, sobbing as tears roll down her face. She is heard telling the cops that she "was trying to get him to stop telling me to calm down" and admitting that the couple "have been fighting all morning."
Petito also tells the police officers that she suffers from OCD and anxiety. Laundrie soon joins her and both are heard telling that she was stressed because of the YouTube blog they were working on to document the doomed cross-country trip.
"I have really bad OCD. I was apologizing to him saying I'm sorry I'm so mean," Petito is heard telling the officer. The officer then allows Petito to sit in his squad car and goes back to talk to Laundrie. "She just gets worked up sometimes, I try to distance myself from her. I locked the car," Laundrie tells the officer.
"I said, 'Let's just take a breather.' She had her phone. I was trying to push her away to say, 'Let's just take a step back,'" Laundrie said. He then tells the officer that Petito also hit him with her phone and had also grabbed the wheel of their van to make him pull over as police were following them.
More Questions Arise
In the bodycam footage Laundrie can also be seen with scratches on his face and arm which he claimed were caused during his fight with Petito when she was trying to snatch "the keys from me." However, Laundrie also admitted that he pushed Petito during the altercation.
According to a police report, neither Petito nor Laundrie called 911 to report the domestic incident, which further raises questions on the role of police in the entire incident.
Officers did not file any criminal charges and classified the incident as a "mental/emotional health break" instead of domestic assault. According to police, the couple finally agreed to spend the night separately instead of charges being filed, following which they left.
The incident happened near the Moonflower Community Co-op in Moab on August 12 and police reached the scene around 4:30pm. Petito was reported missing on September 11, a month later after her family said they hadn't heard from her in 13 days.
She last spoke to her mother on August 25 when her last known location to the family was Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Since then, Laundrie returned home on September 1 in the same camper van the couple had used for the cross-country trip.
However, he has refused to speak anything and has hired a lawyer. Police approached him and Petito's family too has asked him to speak but he has refused to cooperate. On Wednesday police officially named Laundrie a "person of interest" in Petito's disappearance.