Gabby Petito investigation: 911 call reveals Brian Laundrie seen hitting, 'slapping' her before disappearance
Police report on Petito, Laundrie apparently contradicted by 911 call
FIRST ON FOX: The 911 caller who reported a "domestic dispute" between Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito in Moab, Utah, on Aug. 12 was heard telling a dispatcher that "the gentleman was slapping the girl" and hitting her, Fox News has confirmed Monday after exclusively obtaining the audio of the call.
"He was slapping her?" the dispatcher was heard asking.
"Yes, and then we stopped. They ran up and down the sidewalk. He proceeded to hit her, hopped in the car and they drove off," the caller added.
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The audio provides a closer glimpse at the circumstances surrounding the couple’s encounter with police weeks before Petito vanished. A body that investigators believed to be Petito’s turned up Sunday in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, while Laundrie’s current whereabouts Monday remain unknown.
The 911 call apparently contradicted a prior report written by police in which a responding officer had written that "no one reported that the male struck the female."
Last week, Fox News reported that a witness had called 911 around 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 12 over "possible domestic violence" near Moonflower Community Cooperative in Moab and said he saw Petito and Laundrie arguing over a phone.
"The driver of the van, a male, had some sort of argument with the female, Gabbie," a responding officer wrote in a police report, citing conversations he had with Petito, Laundrie, and the witness.
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"The male tried to create distance by telling Gabbie to go take a walk to calm down, she didn’t want to be separated from the male, and began slapping him," the report said. "He grabbed her face and pushed her back as she pressed upon him and the van, he tried to lock her out and succeeded except for his driver’s door, she opened that and forced her way over him and into the vehicle before it drove off."
A responding officer initially wrote that he believes "it was reported the male had been observed to have assaulted the female," but later wrote that "no one reported that the male struck the female."
An officer eventually pulled the van over and said that when he approached, Petito was "crying uncontrollably" in the passenger seat.
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One of the responding officers said the incident can be "more accurately categorized as a mental/emotional health ‘break’ than a domestic assault," and that "no significant injuries" were reported.
Laundrie stayed in a hotel that night, while Petito stayed with the van, according to the report.