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Police Release Video of Distraught Gabby Petito

She went missing sometime after the interaction with police in Utah
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2021 2:51 PM CDT

(Newser) – Gabby Petito remains missing, and police appeared no closer on Thursday to figuring out the whereabouts of the 22-year-old Florida woman. She vanished amid a cross-country trip with her fiance, 23-year-old Brian Laundrie, who is back in home in Florida but not cooperating with police. Authorities have dubbed him a "person of interest." Coverage:

  • Bodycam video: Police in Moab, Utah, on Thursday released bodycam footage of Petito and Laundrie when an officer pulled over their van on Aug. 12, reports NBC News. A short version is here, and the full one-hour version is here.
  • Crying: Petito is distraught and crying in the video. “I’m sorry," she tells the officer. "We’ve just been fighting this morning. Some personal issues." At another point, she says: “Yeah, I don’t know, it’s just some days, I have really bad OCD, and I was just cleaning and straightening up and I was apologizing to him saying that I’m so mean because sometimes I have OCD and get frustrated."

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  • The fight: Laundrie says their argument that day began when he climbed into the van with dirty feet. Police saw scratches on his face and determined Petito was the aggressor, per the AP. “I’m not going to pursue anything because she is my fiancée and I love her," he says. "It was just a squabble. Sorry it had to get so public."
  • Separated: Officers did not press charges but separated the couple. “He’s going to a hotel," an officer tells Petito. "I’m giving you the keys to the van. I’m giving him a ride to the hotel. Everything will be OK."
  • Father's plea: Laundrie returned to Florida in the van on Sept. 1, without Petito. Her father, Joe Petito, made a public plea on Thursday. "I'm asking for help from everyone here," he said, per CNN. "I'm asking for help from everyone at home. I'm asking for help from the parents of Brian." He urged anyone with information to call the FBI hotline at 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).
  • No comment: The police chief in North Port, Florida, also expressed his frustration with Laundrie's lack of cooperation. "Two people left on a trip and one person returned!" tweeted Todd Garrison. But on Thursday, Laundrie's attorney said his client will "continue to remain silent on the advice of counsel."
  • No search: Garrison says no intensive searches have begun for Petito because authorities don't know where to look. "I can’t speculate as to why (Laundrie's) not talking, but he has the pieces to the puzzle that we need to find Gabby," he said Thursday on ABC's Good Morning America.
(Petito's mother is skeptical the last text she received actually came from her daughter.)

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