Gabby Petito’s story shines a light-weight on home violence. May her dying have been prevented?

Within the late summer time of 2021, the story of 22-year-old Gabby Petito’s disappearance unfold shortly throughout social media and all through the media. Headlines put a highlight on the lacking 22-year-old “van life'” video blogger, and on her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, who had returned dwelling to Florida with out her. Gabby’s physique was finally discovered close to a Wyoming campground, and a month later, Brian’s stays had been found in a Florida nature reserve. In a notebook discovered close to Brian, he claimed duty for Gabby’s dying.

Gabby Petito
Gabby Petito


Now “48 Hours” investigates if Gabby’s dying might have been prevented in: “Gabby Petito: The Untold Story” to air Saturday, September 17 at 9/8c and streaming on Paramount +. CBS Information nationwide correspondent Jericka Duncan, takes a deeper look into the life and dying of Gabby Petito, and the steps that her dad and mom have taken to hunt justice on behalf of their daughter.

When Gabby was lacking, police bodycam video was launched of an interaction that the couple had with officers from the Moab Metropolis Police Division in Utah, only a few weeks earlier. The video exhibits Gabby crying and visibly upset after an altercation with Laundrie. The officers had been responding to a 911 name a few potential home violence incident, the place the caller reported seeing Brian slap Gabby, then hit her. 

Gabby Petito is seen  speaking to a Moab, Utah, police officer after police pulled over the van she was touring in along with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, close to the doorway to Arches Nationwide Park on August 12, 2021. 

Moab Police Division

However when the Moab officers pulled over Gabby and Brian of their van minutes later, they separate them and each Gabby and Brian say that she had slapped him. When pressed if Brian hit her, Gabby mentioned “I assume yeah however I hit him first.” An officer asks the place Brian hit her, and she or he says that he grabbed her face. With out immediately asking Brian if he hit Gabby, the officers decided that Gabby was the first aggressor, however let her off with no quotation or an arrest. The couple had been left to proceed their journey. 

Gabby’s mom, Nichole Schmidt, says she final spoke with Gabby in late August on FaceTime, with Gabby telling her the couple was headed to Grand Teton Nationwide Park in Wyoming. After she stopped listening to from Gabby, and Gabby’s cellphone stopped working, Nichole says she turned frightened and she or he, Gabby’s stepfather Jim, father Joseph, and stepmother Tara reported her lacking to authorities. On September 11, 2021, Gabby Petito formally turned a lacking particular person, and the seek for her kicked off throughout the nation.  Seeing posts on social media, one other “van life'” couple realized that they had seen Gabby’s van again on August 27 and reported its location to authorities. Later that day, September 19, 2021, investigators situated Gabby’s remains in a nationwide forest close to the Tetons. Brian had returned alone to Florida, however by the point Gabby’s stays had been found, his dad and mom mentioned that he was lacking too – that he had gone in a hike in a nature reserve close to their Florida dwelling days earlier and never returned. Weeks later, Brian’s physique was uncovered in that reserve. He had died from a gunshot to the head.

Petito’s dad and mom are within the technique of submitting a lawsuit in opposition to the Moab Metropolis Police Division, and the Moab officers concerned within the cease that day, for negligence and wrongful death. Along with claiming that the officers didn’t implement Utah State legislation that day by not issuing a quotation or making an arrest, additionally they declare that the officers weren’t correctly skilled “to analyze home violence conditions, and to correctly assess the circumstances, together with to determine Brian because the true major aggressor.” 

Gabby Petito
On August 25, 2021, Gabby posted a sequence of images on Instagram in entrance of a butterfly mural in Ogden, Utah. It could be her last publish on Instagram.

Gabby Petito/Instagram

Petito’s dad and mom’ Utah legal professional, Brian Stewart, tells “48 Hours,” “The household believes that Gabby would nonetheless be alive at present if the law enforcement officials had had the correct coaching and had adopted the legislation in how they responded to Gabby’s state of affairs.” In late 2021, the Moab Metropolis Police Division commissioned one other Utah police division to conduct an independent review of their officers’ actions. The report famous that the Moab officers made a number of “unintentional errors” that day, together with misinterpreting the legislation and never making an arrest. In a press release, the Metropolis of Moab wrote that it intends to implement the suggestions of the unbiased evaluation, together with extra home violence investigation associated coaching, and authorized coaching to make sure officers perceive Utah state legal guidelines.  Within the assertion, the Metropolis of Moab mentioned it believed the officers confirmed kindness, respect and empathy of their dealing with of this incident. 

Gabby Petito’s dad and mom are additionally suing Brian’s property for wrongful dying, and his parents for intentional infliction of emotional misery. Petito’s guardian’s legal professional, Patrick Reilly tells “48 Hours” that the household believes the Laundries had been conscious that “Brian had murdered Gabby,” and had been “conscious the place her physique was situated” whereas her dad and mom and investigators had been trying to find her. The Laundries’ legal professional issued a press release denying the allegations made within the lawsuit in opposition to them. Reilly additionally discloses particulars a few letter he says was proven to him by the FBI, allegedly addressed to Brian from his mom, which Reilly says comprises the next: “In the event you go to jail, I will bake a cake with a shiv in it.” Reilly additionally says the envelope containing the letter had the phrases “burn after studying” written on the entrance.

Gabby’s dad and mom have fashioned the Gabby Petito Foundation, which has partnered with the Nationwide Home Violence Hotline. The mission of the Gabby Petito Basis is to “handle the wants of organizations that assist finding lacking individuals and to supply help to organizations that help victims of home violence conditions, by training, consciousness, and prevention methods.”

In the event you or a cherished one are a sufferer of home violence, name the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

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