Newly Released Gabby Petito Selfie Shows Her Bloody Face Before Encounter With Utah Police, Family Says
A newly released photo of Gabby Petito shows her injured face before she encountered Utah police responding to a domestic disturbance report, her family and their attorneys say.
A newly released photo showing Gabby Petito with an injured and bloody face was allegedly taken just before she and boyfriend Brian Laundrie were stopped by Utah police investigating a domestic disturbance report, her family and their attorneys said.
Petito's family filed a lawsuit seeking $50 million in damages against the Moab City Police Department in November. The suit claims officers mishandled the encounter and could have prevented the young woman from later being killed.
The selfie, they said, was taken at 4:37 p.m. on Aug. 12, 2021, which was close to the time when police received a 911 call from someone who reported seeing Laundrie strike Petito in Moab.
"Gabby documented the injury and, during the stop, attempted to tell the Moab officers," the law firm of Parker and McConkie said in a statement this week. "However, the seriousness and significance (of) this type of assault and injury was completely ignored."
The department has not yet filed a response to the lawsuit, but has said it denies any wrongdoing and plans to fight the civil suit.
The couple had been on a cross-country camping trip. Petito's family reported her missing in September 2021 after not being able to reach her.
The City of Moab released a statement in November after the wrongful death lawsuit was filed.
“The death of Gabrielle Petito in Wyoming is a terrible tragedy, and we feel profound sympathy for the Petito and Schmidt families and the painful loss they have endured. At the same time, it is clear that Moab City Police Department officers are not responsible for Gabrielle Petito’s eventual murder,” the city's statement said.
Gabby Petito's remains were found weeks later at a Wyoming campground. An autopsy determined she had been strangled. Laundrie became the subject of a manhunt in Florida, where he had returned alone from the camping trip to his parents' home. His body was found in October, in a nature preseve near the home of his parents.
He had shot himself, authorities said. A notebook was found nearby, in which Laundrie confessed to killing Petito, investigators said.
"Our daughter, Gabby, died as a result of intimate partner violence that could have and should have been identified by law enforcement using the lethality assessment," Petito's mother, Nichole Schmidt, said in a statement. "We believe that if the lethality assessment had been properly used in her situation, together with the recommended support and resources, Gabby would still be alive today."
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