Utah police knew Brian Laundrie hit Gabby Petito, new audio reveals

The Moab City Police Department is now under investigation for its handling of the “domestic dispute”

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Newly released dispatch audio shows the Utah police officers who pulled Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie over in August were told he was the alleged aggressor, not Petito.

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“RP (reporting party) states seeing a male hit a female, domestic,” the dispatcher clearly says in audio obtained by KSTU at 4:38 p.m. MT on the day of the incident.

“He got into a white Ford Transit van, has a black ladder on the back, Florida plate.”

An officer is heard asking for the witness’s contact information and victim location, and the dispatcher again indicates that Petito was struck, KSTU reports.

“Phone number is (redacted), name’s (redacted),” the dispatcher said at 4:42 p.m. “I’m not sure (inaudible), but the female who got hit, they both, the male and the female, both got into the van and headed north.”

  1. A screengrab from a TikTok video shows Brian Laundrie, left, and a lookalike spotted in Toronto.

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  2. Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie.

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Despite the 911 caller telling dispatchers he saw a man slapping a woman outside the Moonflower Community Cooperative, officers considered charging Petito after seeing scratches on Laundrie’s face, reported Fox News.

Utah law states that officers are required to make an arrest or issue a citation when they have “probable cause to believe that an act of domestic violence has been committed,” reported the network.

Instead, cops made no arrests, nor did they issue any citations. Rather, they chose to separate the couple for the night. Police drove Laundrie to the Bowen Motel in downtown Moab and left Petito with the van.

The Moab City Police Department is now under investigation for its handling of the “domestic dispute” between the couple as a “breach of police department policy.”

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Brett Tolman, a former attorney in Utah, told Fox the officers likely will face disciplinary action.

“I think they will find that they sort of manipulated the situation to not take someone into custody,” said Tolman. “I think the fact that they had another eyewitness that is not involved in it, and is objective, and said ‘he hit her’ … you’re going to have a majority of officers take him into custody.”

On Sunday, FBI agents returned to Laundrie’s Florida home to gather personal belongings of the missing man for DNA testing, reported the New York Post.

This comes after an earlier raid this month where agents left the home with several items after questioning Laundrie’s parents.

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The latest FBI visit came as hundreds of mourners honoured Petito at a memorial service in Long Island, where she grew up.

“The entire planet knows this woman’s name,” her father, Joe Petito, said during the service, according to the Post. “And she’s inspired a lot of women and a lot of men to do what’s best for them first.”

He added, “If there’s a relationship that might not be the best for you, leave it now.”

dwilford@postmedia.com

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