Authorities in Utah have announced a formal inquiry into the actions of Moab City Police officers who responded to a report of a domestic incident between Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie.
On August 12, officers in Moab City received at least one dispatch report about an altercation between a man and a woman, who were soon identified as Petito, 22, and her boyfriend, 23. Officers determined through statements made by Petito, Laundrie, and an independent witness that Petito was the aggressor, but ultimately did not cite her and only ordered the couple to separate for the night. As CrimeOnline previously reported, body cam footage and a witness 911 call that alleged Laundrie hit and slapped Petito have raised concerns about the officers’ response. Petito was found dead on Sunday in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming, and a medical examiner determined the preliminary manner of death to be homicide.
KUTV reports that the city of Moab will conduct a formal review of the August 12 incident and the officers’ response. The review was reportedly requested by the Moab City Police Department.
“At this time, the City of Moab is unaware of any breach of Police Department policy during this incident. However, the City will conduct a formal investigation and, based on the results, will take any next steps that may be appropriate,” a city spokesperson said in a statement obtained by KSL reporter Morgan Wolfe.
Among the questions CrimeOnline previously raised about the police handling of the incident is whether responding officers ever made contact with a witness who reportedly characterized Laundrie as the aggressor, during a dispute between the couple outside of an organic grocery in Moab. Grand County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Kim Neal told CrimeOnline that witness calls from that location would have been come into the sheriff’s office and the reports would then be dispatched through Moab City Police. Neal could not “say for sure” how many reports were made or if Moab City Police made contact with every witness who reported the incident. CrimeOnline cannot yet confirm whether a 911 call released by authorities in Utah was made by the same witness who was interviewed for a Moab City Police report.
CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.