October 4, 2022
Gabby Petito’s story shines a light on domestic violence.  Could his death have been prevented?

At the end of the summer of 2021, the story of the 22-year-old Gabby Petito’s Disappearance Rapidly spread on social media and throughout the media. Headlines put a spotlight on the missing 22-year-old “Van Life” video blogger and her fiancé Brian Laundry, who returned home without her. Gabby’s body was eventually found near a Wyoming campground, and a month later, Brian’s remains were discovered in a Florida nature reserve. one in a notebook Found near Brian, he took responsibility for Gabby’s death.

Gabby Petito
Gabby Petito

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Now “48 hours” checks whether Gabby’s death could have been prevented In: “Gabby Petito: The Untold Story.” CBS News national correspondent Jerrika Duncan takes an in-depth look at the life and death of Gabby Petito and the steps her parents have taken to get justice on their daughter’s behalf.

When Gabby was missing, police bodycam video was released a conversation The couple was with officers from the Moab City Police Department in Utah a few weeks ago. In the video, Gabby is seen crying and upset after an altercation with the laundry. Officers were responding to a 911 call about a possible domestic violence incident where the caller reported Brian slapping Gabby, then hitting her.

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Gabby Petito is seen talking to a police officer, Moab, Utah, after being pulled over by police on a van traveling with her boyfriend, Brian Laundry, near the entrance to Arches National Park on August 12, 2021 .

Moab Police Department


But when Moab officers pull Gabby and Brian into their van a few minutes later, they separate them and both Gabby and Brian say he slapped her. Brian hit him when pressed, Gabby said, “I think yes, but I hit him first.” An officer asks where Brian hit her, and she says he grabbed her face. Without asking Brian directly whether he killed Gabby, officers determined Gabby was the primary attacker, but released him without citation or arrest. The couple was left to continue their journey.

Gabby’s mother, Nicole Schmidt, says she last spoke with Gabby over FaceTime in late August, with Gabby telling her the couple was heading to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. When she stopped hearing from Gabby, and Gabby’s phone stopped working, Nicole says she became concerned and that she, Gabby’s stepfather Jim, father Joseph, and stepmother Tara informed the authorities about her disappearance. informed of. On September 11, 2021, Gabby Petito officially became a missing person, and her search began across the country. Seeing posts on social media, another “Van Life” couple realized they had saw gabby’s van Back on 27 August and reported its location to the authorities. Later that day, September 19, 2021, investigators found Gabby’s remains In a national forest near the Tetons. Brian had returned to Florida alone, but by the time Gabby’s remains were discovered, his parents said he was missing too – that he had gone on a hike in a nature reserve near their Florida home a few days earlier. was and did not return. Weeks later, Brian’s body was uncovered in that reserve. he died from a shoot in the head,

Petito’s parents are in the process of filing a lawsuit against the Moab City Police Department and the Moab officers involved in the stop that day for negligence and negligence. wrongful death, In addition to claiming that officers failed to enforce Utah state law that day, did not issue a citation or make an arrest, they also claim that officers were “required to investigate domestic violence situations and Was not trained “properly” to properly assess the circumstances, including to identify Brian as the real primary attacker.

Gabby Petito
On August 25, 2021, Gabby posted a series of photos to Instagram in front of a butterfly mural in Ogden, Utah. This will be his last post on Instagram.

Gabby Petito / Instagram


Brian Stewart, the Utah attorney for Petito’s parents, tells “48 Hours” that “the family believes Gabby would still be alive today if police officers had the proper training and followed the law.” How did he react to Gabby’s situation.” In late 2021, the Moab City Police Department commissioned another Utah Police Department to conduct a independent review about the actions of their officers. The report said Moab officials made several “unintentional mistakes” that day, including misinterpreting the law and not making arrests. In a statement, the City of Moab wrote that it intends to implement the recommendations of the independent review, including training related to more domestic violence investigations, and legal training to ensure that officials understand Utah state laws. . In the statement, the city of Moab said it believed the authorities showed kindness, respect and empathy in their handling of the incident.

Gabby Petito’s parents are also suing Brian’s estate for wrongful death, and his parents To intentionally inflict emotional distress. Petito’s parents’ attorney, Patrick Reilly, told “48 Hours” that the family believed Laundry knew “Brian killed Gabby,” and “knew that her body Where was he located” while his parents and investigators were looking for him. Laundry’s attorney issued a statement denying the charges leveled against him in the lawsuit. Reilly also revealed a letter he said was shown to him by the FBI, purportedly addressed to Brian from his mother, which Reilly says contained the following: “If you’re in jail If you go, I will bake a cake with a Shiva in it.” Reilly also says that the envelope containing the letter had the words “burn after reading” written on the front.

Gabby’s parents have made Gabby Petito Foundation, which has partnered with the National Domestic Violence Hotline. The mission of the Gabby Petito Foundation is to “address the needs of organizations that assist in locating missing persons and provide support to organizations that assist victims of domestic violence situations through education, awareness, and prevention strategies.” We do.”

If you or someone you love is a victim of domestic violence, call National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

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