Moab, UT – The Moab Police Department (MPD) has released bodycam footage showing the aftermath of a physical fight between Gabby Petito and her boyfriend that occurred approximately two weeks before her disappearance.
Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, said she last spoke to her 22-year-old daughter on Aug. 25, when Petito told her she and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, were heading to Grand Teton, Wyoming before making their way to Yellowstone National Park, ABC News reported.
The couple had been touring U.S. national parks in Petito’s converted camper van since early July.
Schmidt said she received two texts from her daughter’s phone since she last talked to her on Aug. 25, but that she isn’t sure Petito was actually the person who sent them.
“I don’t know if she left Grand Teton or not,” Schmidt told WNYW. “I did receive a text from her on the 27th and the 30th, but I don’t know if it was technically her or not, because it was just a text. I didn’t verbally speak to her.”
Laundrie has since showed up alone back in North Port, Florida, where the couple lived, ABC News reported.
Police recovered the missing woman’s 2012 Ford Transit van at Laundrie’s parents’ home over the weekend, according to WNYW.
He has refused to speak with Petito’s family or investigators regarding where he last saw her.
According to an MPD report, a concerned witness called 911 at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 12 to report a “possible domestic violence” incident near Moonflower Community Cooperative, FOX News reported.
The witness said he saw a man and a woman arguing in the street about a phone.
“The driver of the van, a male, had some sort of argument with the female, Gabbie,” one of the officers who responded to the scene noted in his report, according to FOX News.
“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 officer wrote. “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.”
The officers spoke to Petito and Laundrie after pulling the van over.
Petito, who was sitting in the passenger seat, was “crying uncontrollably” when they first made contact with her, the officer noted in the report.
The officers spoke with Petito and Laundrie separately before determining that neither of them had any significant injuries, FOX News reported.
“I have really bad OCD,” Petito said in the bodycam video. “I was apologizing to him saying ‘I’m sorry I’m so mean.’”
“We’ve been fighting all morning,” she said. “He wouldn’t let me in the car before…he told me I needed to calm down.”
One of the officers noted in his report that the argument could be “more accurately categorized as a mental/emotional health ‘break’ than a domestic assault,” according to the news outlet.
“Both the male and the female reported they are in love and engaged to be married and desperately didn’t wish to see anyone charged with a crime,” the report read.
The couple ended up staying in separate locations for the night to cool down, the officers noted.
Schmidt said she believes the argument was nothing significant, FOX News reported.
“Put yourself with another person in a van 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for months, and you might have an argument, right?” she told the news outlet on Wednesday. “It’s irrelevant. It’s not a big deal.”
Laundrie showed up alone back in North Port, Florida with Petito’s van on Sept. 1.
Petito’s family reported her missing to the Suffolk County Police Department at 6:55 p.m. on Sept. 11, the North Port Police Department (NPPD) said in a press release on Monday.
The NPPD listed Laundrie as a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance on Wednesday.
He already hired a lawyer and has refused to speak to Petito’s family or investigators, FOX News reported.
“As a father, I can imagine the pain and suffering Gabby’s family is going through,” NPPD Chief Todd Garrison said. “We are pleading with anyone, including Brian, to share information with us on her whereabouts in the past few weeks. The lack of information from Brian is hindering this investigation.”
Laundrie’s attorney, Steven Bertolino, released a statement saying the family hopes Petito is located.
“This is understandably an extremely difficult time for both the Petito family and the Laundrie family,” Bertolino said, according to ABC News.
“It is our understanding that a search has been organized for Miss Petito in or near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming,” Bertolino wrote. “On behalf of the Laundrie family, it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is re-united with her family. On the advice of counsel, the Laundrie family is remaining in the background at this juncture and will have no further comment.”
Petito’s family subsequently issued a statement begging the Laundrie family for help, ABC News reported.
“The one person that can help find Gabby refuses to help,” Petito’s family said. “[We] beg the Laundrie family to not ‘remain in the background’ but to help find who Brian referred to as the love of his life. How does Brian stay in the background when he is the one person that knows where Gabby is located?”
The family reiterated that “Brian is refusing to tell Gabby’s family where he last saw her,” ABC News reported.
“Brian is also refusing to explain why he left Gabby all alone and drove her van to Florida,” the Petitos added. “These are critical questions that require immediate answers.”
A fundraising campaign established to help aid in the search for Petito has raised over $44,000 so far.
You can see the full bodycam video below: