2:22 PM PDT, September 15, 2021
Police in Moab, Utah, investigated an alleged physical altercation between missing 22-year-old Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, before Petito’s mysterious disappearance, according to a just-released police report.
After embarking two months ago on a cross-country road trip in their renovated camper van, Laundrie returned to his home in North Port, Florida, with the van, but Petito was not with him. Petito’s last known whereabouts were in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park.
Police are now calling Laundrie a “person of interest” in the case as new details are being revealed about the Aug. 12 incident, in which cops were called to a grocery store to break up an argument between the couple.
According to the newly-released report, Laundrie told Petito to “take a walk to calm down.”
“[Petito] didn’t want to be separated from the male and began slapping him,” the report said.
Then, Laundrie “grabbed her face and pushed her back.”
Gabby was “crying” the entire time, the report said. Police described the incident as more of a “mental/emotional health break than a domestic assault.”
Cops say the couple were ordered to spend the night apart until things cooled down and that there wasn’t enough evidence to “justify criminal charges.”
Meanwhile, Petito’s family and law enforcement have been pleading with Laundrie for answers.
“The one person that can help find Gabby refuses to help,” Petito’s family said in a statement. “Brian is also refusing to explain why he left Gabby all alone and drove her van to Florida. These are critical questions that require immediate answers.”
Last weekend, the camper van was seized from Laundrie’s home in North Port, Florida, where he lives with his parents.
“We’re just pleading with him at this point, to please speak with us. We need to understand those details. They put out a release yesterday saying they remain in the background — that is not good enough,” North Port Police Department public information officer Josh Taylor said at a press conference.