Police Slammed for Handling of Gabby Petito Case

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Police investigating the disappearance of Gabby Petito have been slammed for their handling of the case.

It comes after crews searching a national park in Wyoming found a body.

The body is said to match the description of Petito…

On September 11th, influencer Gabby Petitio was reported missing to police by her mother.

Petito had not been in touch with her family since late August when she and her fiancé Brian Laundrie, were in Wyoming.

Laundrie returned to Florida on September 1st, without Petito.

He’s now been named as a person of interest in the case by the authorities.

The pair had been documenting their travels on social media.

But, Petito had not shared a post to her Instagram account for 3 weeks.

North Port police chief, Todd Garrison, issued a statement as the search for her whereabouts began.

“We are pleading with anyone, including Brian, to share information with us on her whereabouts in the past few weeks,” said Garrison, as per the BBC. “The lack of information from Brian is hindering this investigation. The answers will eventually come out.”

The van the pair had been sharing has been seized and searched for clues.

“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,” the Petito family said in a statement.

Petito’s mom had revealed the final text she received from her missing daughter.

Nichole Schmidt said she received a message from her daughter’s phone on August 30th reading “No service in Yosemite.”

However, Schmidt does not believe this text was actually written by Petito. “The van was in Florida on the 1st [of September]. I think I can do the math,” she explained to the New York Post.

Schmidt refused to comment on who she did believe had sent the message.

Police officers had also released bodycam footage from a month before Petito’s disappearance.

The footage shows officers, in Utah, talking to Petito and Laundrie after they responded to a 911 call of a domestic incident.

The hour-long bodycam footage from August 12th has been released by Moab City Police Department.

It shows officers interaction with the couple when they pulled over their white van outside Arches National Park in Moab.

The footage, obtained by ABC7, shows the officer separate the couple and begin to question them about what led to the 911 call.

During her conversation with the officer, Petito can be heard saying: “I have really bad OCD. I was apologizing to him saying I’m sorry I’m so mean.
“We’ve been fighting all morning. He wouldn’t let me in the car before… He told me I needed to calm down.”

The officer then sat Petito in the back of his patrol car before moving to talk to Laundrie.

Speaking with the officer, Laundrie said: “She just gets worked up sometimes, I try to distance myself from her. I locked the car.
“I said, ‘Let’s just take a breather.’ She had her phone. I was trying to push her away to say, ‘Let’s just take a step back,'” he said while adding that Petito hit him with her phone.

As per ABC7, the incident was reportedly categorized by police as a “mental/emotional health break” rather than a domestic assault.

The couple reportedly agreed to spend the night separately instead of charges being filed with the police helping Laundrie to sort a hotel room while Petito remained with the van.

Throughout the search, the Laundrie family had remained very quiet in regards to Petito’s disappearance.

However, last week Laundrie’s sister, Cassie Laundrie, opened up in an exclusive interview with GMA where she insisted that she and her family “want Gabby to be found safe,” ABC7 NY reports.

“Obviously me and my family want Gabby to be found safe,” Laundrie said.

“She’s like a sister and my children love her, and all I want is for her to come home safe and found and this to be just a big misunderstanding.”

Despite the pleas for information and days of looking, the search for Petito had been unsuccessful…

Until yesterday.

On Sunday, human remains were discovered by authorities searching the Grand Teton national park in Wyoming.

In a news conference, FBI officials said that the remains are “consistent with the description of” Petito, CNN reports.

Charles Jones, an FBI agent based in Denver, said: “Earlier today, human remains were discovered, consistent with the description of Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Petito.”

“Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100% that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified of this discovery.”

The discovery has shocked people across the world.

With many taking to social media to express upset about the news and send love to Petito’s family.

But, what has left many people just as shocked is power of internet.

As the human remains found by crews were discovered near to where YouTubers filmed Petito’s van prior to her disappearance.

Jenn and Kyle Bethune, known as “Red White & Bethune on YouTube, spotted Petito’s van in their video after they reviewed their footage in light of her disappearance.

The footage, captured on August 27, shows a white van parked up at the side of the road in Grand Teton National Park’s Spread Creek Dispersed camping area, Insider reports.
A place near to where the FBI announced that human remains had been found that matched Petito’s description.

In the footage uploaded to their YouTube channel, the Bethune’s wrote:

“We were editing our sunday video, tonight and we were looking at footage from on August 27th, 2021 around 6:00pm to 6:30pm in Spread Creek Dispersed Camping. We had passed by a white van with Florida Plates. We noticed it because we are originally from Florida and wanted to stop and say hi. When we passed the van, all the lights were off and it didn’t look like anyone was there. We ended up leaving because we couldn’t find a spot.”

Speaking with Insider, Bethune explained that the camera, in their own van, had accidentally been left recording by her husband when it filmed Petito’s van.

Once they spotted it and realized that it could be helpful in the search the for Petito, they gave it to the FBI who later located human remain in the area.

Although progress into Petito’s disappearance has been made over the past fews days, many think that police should have done more for the case and sooner…

Particularly when it comes to Laundrie.




Officers are being criticised for allowing Laundrie to disappear before he was questioned about the investigation into Petito’s whereabouts.

Laundrie disappeared last week after investigators had spent days asking for Laundrie and his attorney to co-operate with them.
It was only during a visit to the Laundrie family home that authorities learned that Laundrie had been missing for 3 days.

Officers’ failure to interrogate Laundrie hasn’t only been slammed by people online…

It has also been criticized by experts and former detectives.

Ed Gavin, an expert in missing person cases and former acting chief of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, told the New York Post that Laundrie should have been “under surveillance.”

“They should’ve immediately placed him under surveillance,” Gavin said. “Immediately.”
“They should’ve been all over him. The fact that they let him out of their sight, that’s a no-no. Time is of the essence with these investigations.”

While Pat Diaz, a former Miami-Dade homicide detective, spoke with Fox News and explained that investigators should have obtained a warrant.

“Why would you get consent from the guy, and not get a search warrant?” Diaz said. “You can get a search warrant for everything in that house, including his laptop.”
Adding that examining Laundrie’s device would have helped to provided police investigating the case with significant clues.
This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly…