- Brian Laundrie was reportedly seen “slapping” fiancée Gabby Petito during an incident in Utah before she vanished, according to a 911 call.
- “The gentleman was slapping the girl,” a witness told a dispatcher, according to audio of the call obtained by Fox News.
- Laundrie and Petito had told police that they got into an argument in Moab that resulted in Petito slapping Laundrie.
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Utah’s Moab Police Department responded to a fight between Laundrie and Petito on August 12 – less than a month before Petito was reported missing by her family – while the couple was in the midst of their cross-country road trip by van to national parks out West.
The couple told police that they had gotten into an argument in Moab that resulted in Petito slapping Laundrie, according to a police report and officer body-camera footage released by the Moab Police Department.
However, according to a 911 call about the same incident obtained by Fox News, a witness can be heard telling dispatchers with the Grand County Sheriff’s Office that he saw Laundrie striking Petito.
“I am right on the corner of Main Street by Moonflower and we’re driving by and I’d like to report a domestic dispute…with a white van, Florida license plate,” the male 911 caller can be heard telling a dispatcher, according to the audio.
The dispatcher then asks the caller, “What were they doing?”
“We drove by and the gentleman was slapping the girl,” the caller said, prompting the dispatcher to respond, “He was slapping her?”
The 911 caller replied, “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,” according to the audio.
A police report of the incident stated it “wasn’t clear” to the police officer, but an initial witness described seeing Laundrie hit Petito.
However, the cop in the report said he located a witness named Christopher, whose last name is redacted.
This witness “reported seeing a man, later identified Brian Laundrie, and a female, later identified as Gabrielle Petito, arguing over a phone.”
“Christopher stated that when Brian got into the van, he saw what appeared to him as Gabrielle hitting Brian in the arm and then climbing through the driver’s window as if Brian had locked her out and she was trying to find a way in,” the police report says.
According to police body-camera footage showing the aftermath of the scuffle between Petito and Laundrie, cops considered charging Petito with domestic violence, but opted not to when she told them she did not intend to hurt Laundrie.
Petito, 22, was seen visibly distraught in the footage. Neither the officers nor Petito or Laundrie refer to the slapping incident described on the 911 call released Monday.
The Moab Police Department did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment Monday.
Meanwhile, FBI investigators said Sunday that a body was discovered at a campsite near Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park believed to be Petito.
Laundrie, 23, who has been named as a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance, is now also missing.
He had returned home to Florida with the van and without Petito on September 1, retained an attorney and refused to speak to authorities.
Laundrie’s family reported him missing to police last Friday after they claimed that he left to go on a hike at the nearby Carlton Reserve earlier last week and never returned home.