Gabby Petito should have been charged with domestic abuse in Utah, according to a new investigation.
According to a new investigation issued Wednesday, Utah police should have cited Gabby Petito for domestic abuse when they pulled her and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie over last summer.
According to an investigation into the event, Moab city police made “unintentional missteps” after a 911 call on Aug. 12 caused officers to stop the couple in the middle of their ill-fated road trip out west.
According to the investigation, Petito should have been cited by the two responding officers at Arches National Park since she admitted to being the aggressor in a public brawl, even if she wasn’t the “long-term predominate aggressor in this relationship.”
Instead, authorities chalked up the altercation to a “mental health break,” and the pair was allowed after a 75-minute interaction to continue their cross-country journey after they agreed to spend the night apart.
Petito appeared noticeably frightened in bodycam footage as police reacted to a 911 caller’s accusation that Laundrie had smacked her outside a grocery co-op. The pair claimed they were squabbling out of frustration and denied any severe assault.
Authorities determined that the 22-year-old Long Island native was strangled to death in Wyoming a few weeks later and that Laundrie, 23, murdered himself in Florida after being pursued in her death and disappearance.
According to the 100-page report, police in Price, Utah started an independent inquiry into the event after a lawyer submitted a formal complaint alleging cops “coached” Petito after she disclosed she “struck him first.”
Even if she wasn’t the “long-term predominate aggressor in this relationship,” Petito should have been cited by the two responding officers at Arches National Park because she admitted to being the aggressor in a public brawl.
Officers Eric Pratt and Daniel Robbins should be placed on probation for releasing the pair, but Ratcliffe said he felt “confident and comfortable in indicating the mistakes that were done were not made on purpose.”
Moab authorities agreed that the two responding officers should have cited Petito for domestic violence and committed “many inadvertent mistakes” as a result of that omission, according to a summary of the findings.
The cops “showed care, respect, and sensitivity in their handling of this situation,” according to the report, although officers have agreed to receive further domestic violence and legal training as a result of the report.
“The City of Moab sends its heartfelt sympathies to the Petito family; our thoughts and prayers are with them as they struggle with their daughter’s tragic passing.”
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