Ex-“America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh said on Tuesday that Utah authorities overlooked evidence of domestic abuse during the August 12 911 call involving Gabrielle Petito and Brian Laundrie.
Walsh, 75, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that the 911 dispatcher failed to relay to responding officers that the 911 caller said they witnessed Laundrie, 23, slap Petito, 22. According to Walsh, Moab City deputies ultimately wrote in their report that Laundrie appeared to be the victim of domestic violence, not Petito.
“This girl’s terrorized, this is classic domestic abuse,” Walsh commented. “He’s terrorized her not to tell the cops he was the aggressor, he was the slapper and puncher.”
Former host of “America’s Most Wanted” John Walsh says he was “terrified” when he first saw police cam footage of Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito.
“This is classic domestic abuse. He terrorized her not to tell the cops. He was the aggressor and slapper and puncher.” pic.twitter.com/MIU33x2VcU
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) September 21, 2021
Walsh opined that Petito may be alive today had the witness’ claims were relayed to the Moab City deputies who pulled over the couple two weeks before Petito’s reported disappearance.
Walsh went on to call Laundrie “sociopathic and horrible” and told Cooper that he plans to “put the heat” on him on Wednesday’s episode of his Investigation Discovery show, “In Pursuit With John Walsh.”
“We’ll pick this creep up,” Walsh said. “It’s not closure [to Petito’s family], it’s justice.”
On Sunday, a body matching Petito’s description was discovered in the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming.
Petito vanished late last month during a cross-country trip with Laundrie. The pair reportedly embarked across the country in a converted camper van, stopping at national parks in Utah and Colorado along the way.
Petito was last seen at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Laundrie allegedly drove back to Florida — without his girlfriend — and parked the camper van in his parents’ driveway.
Laundrie, who has been deemed a person of interest, remains unaccounted for since reportedly leaving his family home on Tuesday with a backpack. He was believed to have gone to the Carlton Reserve, a 24,000-acre preserve in Sarasota County.
North Port police confirmed on Tuesday that they are reconvening their search for Laundrie at the preserve.
Full forensic identification of the body discovered at Grand Teton is pending. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.
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[Featured image: Moab City Police Department]