October 21, 2021

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Utah police report shows possible mental health concerns, tension between Gabby Petito, Brian Laundrie – FOX 13 Tampa Bay

4 min read

A newly released report from the Moab Police Department in Utah shows possible tension, fueled by mental health issues, between Gabrielle Petito and Brian Laundrie in the days before she disappeared and he drove her van back to North Port, Florida.

The report details the encounters officers had with the couple as well as a witness after police were called to respond to a possible domestic violence situation between Gabby and Brian on August 12. 

The responding officers ultimately determined the events did not add up to chargeable crimes, however, the officers did take steps to separate the pair for an evening in an effort to prevent escalation.

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According to the report, Moab Police Dept. Officer Eric Pratt was called for a report of a “domestic problem” near a business called Moonflower Co-op. When Pratt got there, the subjects – later identified as Gabby and Brian – had already left the scene. The officer spoke to a bystander, called Chris in the report. Another responding officer later spoke to Chris, who said he “was not entirely sure what it is he had seen but feared the worst.”

Chris said he saw Brian and Gabby, apparently arguing over a phone. Chris said Brian got into the van and Gabby apparently striking Brian on the arm. Chris said Gabby then climbed through the driver’s side window, as if Brian had locked her out and she was trying to find a way in,” the report stated.

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While Officer Pratt investigated at the original scene, Officer Daniel Robbins caught up with Brian and Gabrielle, who drove away from the co-op in the camper van they had been traveling in. 

Officer Robbins caught up with the van near Arches National Park, the location of one of Gabrielle’s last social media posts before she went missing. Robbins’ report says the van was going 45 miles per hour in a 15-mile-per-hour zone.

“After I had activated my lights to initiate a traffic stop, I watched the van cross the double yellow dividing line in lane one, merge to lane two, and abruptly swerve to the right,” Robbins’ report states. “When the vehicle swerved, both the front and rear passenger side wheels hit the curb. A short distance before the entrance gate, the vehicle came to a stop.”

Provided by North Port police

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Robbins said he approached the van and saw Gabrielle “crying uncontrollably.”

The officer took Gabby to his patrol car to talk about what happened. The report is partially redacted to protect sensitive information, however, it implies Gabby disclosed a mental health disorder or concern.

Gabby Petito is pictured in provided, undated images. (Photo credit: North Port Police Department)

Gabby Petito is pictured in provided, undated images. (Photo credit: North Port Police Department)

“Gabrielle told me that she suffers from [redacted] with [redacted],” the report says. “Because of her [redacted] and [redacted], combined with little arguments she and Brian had been having that day, she was struggling with her mental health, which led to the incident that was reported to law enforcement.”

The report says Gabby saw the officer’s flashing lights and hit Brian’s arm, causing the van to swerve and hit the curb.

After interviewing Gabrielle, Officer Robbins’ report says he interviewed Brian, whose account of the incidents matched those of Gabby and the witness, Chris.

Screenshots from Gabby Petito’s Youtube video on trip with Brian Laundrie, photo of Laundrie family home where van was located

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Officer Robbins suggested the pair separate for the night and arranged for Brian to stay in a nearby hotel. The officer said he told the couple to try not to talk until the morning so they could “reset their mental states without interference from one another.”

The report says the couple agreed and the officer took Brian to a nearby hotel, while Gabby stayed in her van.

Gabrielle’s family says the last time they heard from her was around August 25. Her van was discovered at the North Port, Florida family home of Brian Laundrie on September 11, after Gabby’s family reported her missing.

Police and the FBI have been working since then to piece together what happened to Gabby leading up to her disappearance. 

the FBI has set up a national hotline to receive tips: 1-800-225-5324 or submit tips to tips.fbi.gov

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