Gabby Petito Case: Revisiting Utah Police ‘Mistakes’

MOAB, Utah (NewsNation Now) – Officers in Moab, Utah, made a number of “unintentional mistakes” in responding to a 911 call about domestic violence involving domestic violence. Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie, a review by an independent law enforcement agency found.

“There were mistakes in the way this case was handled,” said the person conducting the review. “If this case was handled perfectly, would it change anything? Nobody know.”

The city of Moab on Wednesday released a statement and reviewed the August 12 incident, which took place shortly before Petito disappeared. It said the mistakes ” stemmed from the fact that officers did not invoke Ms Petito for acts of domestic violence.”

The review also states, “just because Gabby has been identified as the primary aggressor because of her involvement in this incident, does not mean she is the long-term aggressor in this relationship.”

During the 911 call, a man told the Grand County Sheriff’s Office that he saw a man slap a woman while walking through town and continued to beat her before they both got into his car and drove off. Go.

“We were driving past and the man slapped the girl,” he said. “They ran up and down the sidewalk, he kept hitting her, jumped in the car, and they drove off.”

Later in the day, Moab police responded to reports of an alleged physical interaction between Petito and Laundrie. Hour-long on-camera footage from the investigation shows officers answered a 911 call with Petito crying “uncontrollably” said the couple had a “small argument” that day. Authorities said Laundrie told officers the pair had been traveling for four to five months, which “created emotional tension between them and increased the number of arguments.”

On September 30, a bodycam video from another angle was released showing Petito telling an officer Laundrie grabbed her jaw, but she hit him “a few times” first.

Petito and Laundrie are said to have separated during the night, Petito kept the truck, and Laundrie received police accommodation assistance.

The bodycam footage is from August 12. Around the end of that month, Petito was killed. Her remains were found in Wyoming on September 19.

“I am desperate (deeply) about her being killed,” one of the responders was quoted as saying during the investigative review. “I really am. I would do anything to stop it if I knew it was coming. ”

In the August police report, Laundrie was listed as a victim. Sheriff Bret Edge said there was not enough evidence to continue with any charges.

But an independent law enforcement agency investigative report found there was a need to improve officer training and policies. Some recommendations include:

  • More domestic violence investigation training
  • Additional legal training, to ensure officers understand state laws and regulations
  • Overall Policy Review
  • Software reviews
  • Strengthen the process of reviewing incident reports

The investigative report also shows that the original 911 caller never received a statement. It is recommended that be taken to report incidents to be more complete.

It also said that officers “made the mistake of not reading the entire assault policy as well as misinterpreting the language in the statute.”

The report recommends officers be placed on probation or extended, but the city’s statement did not mention whether it plans to continue with that recommendation.

“Based on the findings of the report, the City of Moab believes that our officers demonstrated kindness, respect and
The city said in the statement it would be sympathetic in the way it handled the incident, adding that it would hire a trained domestic violence specialist to oversee police investigations. Further training and testing for officers will also take place.

Investigators say Petito was last contacted by her family in late August while the couple were visiting Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. Her body was found at a campsite in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming days after a nationwide search was launched.

“The City of Moab sends its sincere condolences to the Petito family. Our hearts go out to them like
They continue to deal with the tragic loss of their daughter. ”

Laundrie, Petito’s boyfriend, is a person of interest in the case. He refused to talk to authorities and disappeared on September 13. His body was found near Carlton Reserve on October 20 and identified the next day.

“It is very likely that Gabby is a long-term victim of domestic violence, whether it is physical, mental, and/or emotional,” said the independent reviewer.

NewsNation’s Sydney Kalich contributed to this report. Gabby Petito Case: Revisiting Utah Police ‘Mistakes’


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