Attorneys for Gabby Petito’s family have made a photo of her with blood on her face from a domestic violence stop in Utah just weeks before she was allegedly killed by her ex-fiance, Brian Laundrie, available for the first time.
The Moab City Police Department came into contact with the travel-blogging couple on August 12, 2021, after a witness reported seeing Laundrie hitting Petito and attempting to steal her phone and drive off without her outside the Moonflower Co-op, an organic grocery store off the city’s main drag. Parker & McConkie first mentioned the existence of the photo in a November 2022 wrongful death lawsuit against the department.
According to the law firm, the picture was shot by Petito herself just before the stop and was found on her phone.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the family’s attorneys claimed that “according to available data, the image was shot around 4:37 p.m., at or before the approximate time of the initial 911 call.”
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Around 4:30 p.m. on the day of the incident, a witness reported an alleged domestic violence incident, as Fox News Digital was the first to report.
About 15 minutes later, according to bodycam video from Moab police, they come to a stop in the Arches National Park entrance. “Gabby snapped a photograph of her injuries, which shows blood over her nose and left eye,” the lawsuit complaint reads.
Officer Eric Pratt of the Moab Police Department allegedly saw her injury and disregarded her, failing to further investigate or document it, according to the family’s attorneys.
On Tuesday, a representative for Moab stated that the city does not comment on legal issues. The Petito-Schmidt attorneys’ statement, which was posted to the Parker & McConkie website, continues, “The photo demonstrates the cut previously noted on her left cheek as well as blood smeared from her forehead, across her left eye and cheek, and over her nose, indicating that she was grabbed over her face in such a way that her airways were likely obstructed.”
“Gabby documented the damage and tried to tell the Moab authorities during the stop, but the gravity and impact of this kind of assault and injury were simply overlooked,” says the author.
Following an external review brought on by the Moab police reaction, it was determined that on August 12, 2021, the stop had Pratt and fellow Moab Officer Daniel Robbins making “unintentional mistakes.”
Despite a Utah provision that, according to the Petitos’ attorneys, obliged the police to make an arrest or issue a citation, they split the couple up for the night and chose not to press charges. Petito’s parents’ counsel said that the image refutes the police’s claim that she was the “predominant aggressor” in the incident outside Moonflower.
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According to the lawsuit, “Moab Police failed to perceive the forceful grasping of Gabby’s face and blocking of her mouth, nose, and airways as a significant antecedent to her eventual death by strangling that occurred shortly thereafter.” “Moab Police failed to follow their own training, rules, and Utah law. They refused to listen to Gabby, failed to look into her injuries and the nature of her assault.”
In Wyoming, where Petito’s remains were discovered on September 18, Laundrie is thought to have strangled and beaten to death Petito by August 28.
On October 20, the FBI and neighborhood police discovered him dead in a marsh from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Nearby, a dry bag was discovered that included a scribbled admission of Petito’s murder.
Laundrie’s parents as well as Moab police are being sued by Petito’s parents, Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt, in relation to the sequence of incidents that resulted in and followed her death.
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