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Report Suggests Moab Police Made Mistakes During Gabby Petito & Brian Laundrie's 'Domestic Violence' Incident On Road Trip

investigation moab police mistakes gabby petito brian laundrie domestic violence
Source: @gabspetito/instagram

Jan. 13 2022, Published 7:59 a.m. ET

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According to an independent review, Utah police officers made several errors when they encountered Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie during their road trip.

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As previously reported by OK!, police responded to a call in August from a witness who said they saw a couple arguing outside the Moonflower Community Cooperative store in Moab. At the time, it was determined that the pair spend the night apart.

investigation moab police mistakes gabby petito brian laundrie domestic violence
Source: @gabspetito/instagram
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According to an investigation by Captain Brandon Ratcliffe of the Price City Police Department, the responding officers failed to cite the influencer for domestic violence. A statement was also not believed to have been obtained from the witness who originally called 911, E! News reported.

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The report deduced it was likely Petito was a, "long-term victim of domestic violence, whether that be physically, mentally, and/or emotionally."

According to the report, Petito left a job in order to go on the cross-country road trip with her then-boyfriend. She was said to have been trying to start an online career, but Brian did not support her goal or believe she could achieve it.

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Source: EX.CO

"Brian tried locking Gabby out of the van in an attempt to control her movements. Brian said he was trying to 'make' Gabby calm down and Gabby said she was trying to get Brian to stop telling her to calm down. Gabby also said Brian kept telling her to 'shut up,'" the report read, per the outlet.

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The report noted that Laundrie may have grabbed his girlfriend's face to try to "make" her calm down or be quiet. "The specific act of grabbing someone's face is extremely personal, violent, and controlling," the documents reportedly read. "Just because there may have been some signs that Brian was the long-term predominant aggressor, law enforcement could only act on the information they were provided."

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The report pointed out it's impossible to say whether Petito would still be alive today if the case was handled differently, per CNN.

"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 this relationship," the report concluded. "Oftentimes in cases of domestic violence, the long-term victim gets to a point emotionally where they defend themselves or act out in such a way where law enforcement is summoned."

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investigation moab police mistakes gabby petito brian laundrie domestic violence
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In an interview as part of the investigation, one of the responding officers Eric Pratt admitted he may have made mistakes and is "devastated" about the case. "I cared that day and I still care. I don't think the public gets that we...I don't know if they know we care. I don't know if they know," he said, CNN reported.

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The report noted that both Pratt and officer Daniel Robbins thought they were making the right call at the time based on the situation at hand.

The city of Moab released a statement saying it, "intends to implement the report's recommendations" on new policies for the police department, which will include additional domestic violence training and legal training for officers. The statement also noted that based on the report, the city "believes our officers showed kindness, respect and empathy in their handling of this incident," according to CNN.

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