Report finds officers made ‘unintentional mistakes’ in handling of Petito, Laundrie traffic stop response

The complaint filed with the Moab Police Department involved the Aug.12, 2021 domestic violence incident involving Petito and Laundrie.

News 12 Staff

Jan 13, 2022, 10:51 AM

Updated 918 days ago


A new review of the Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie case involving a Utah traffic stop is now complete.
The report released overnight says police made several "unintentional mistakes" when they stopped Petito and Laundrie in August, just weeks before her body was found in Wyoming.
The complaint filed with the Moab Police Department involved the Aug. 12, 2021 domestic violence incident involving Petito and Laundrie.
The independent agency’s investigative report found that the officers who responded to the incident made several unintentional mistakes that stemmed from the fact that officers failed to cite Petito for domestic violence.
However, the Price City police captain states, "Just because Gabby was determined to be the predominant aggressor as it related to this incident, doesn't mean she was the long-term predominant aggressor in the relationship. It's very likely Gabby was a long-term victim of domestic violence, whether that be physically, mentally and/or emotionally."
The city acknowledges that this finding may raise questions, and the issue is examined extensively in the investigative report.
The report recommends improvements to both the policies and the training of the Moab City Police Department.
The recommendations include providing additional training to the department.
In addition, the investigative report also found that a statement was never obtained from the original 911 caller, and recommends that be done to make the incident report more complete.
The city says it intends to implement the report’s recommendations.
Jeff Reynolds works with the Family and Children's Association, an organization that runs programs to help victims of family violence.
He says the police department forgot to recommend mental health training.
"How do you understand the signs and symptoms of someone under duress and then what is it that you do about it," Reynolds says.
An attorney for Brian Laundrie's family said in part, "To label every disagreement between couples a citable domestic violence incident is to criminalize human emotions."
Petito's mother told News 12 she had no comment about the report.

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