HomeNewsGabby Petito Case: Domestic Violence Survivors Say Police Missed ‘Red Flag’ During Moab Incident

Gabby Petito Case: Domestic Violence Survivors Say Police Missed ‘Red Flag’ During Moab Incident

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images)

Brian Laundrie’s death leaves a lack of answers concerning the events between Gabby Petito’s disappearance and the discovery of her remains. Now, some in the public has criticized several aspects of law enforcement’s handling of the situation.

Most recently, the public has become enraged. They seem to believe authorities dismissed Brian Laundrie’s parents’ rapid location of his personal items a remains a coincidence. Many have pointed to the oddity with which the discovery unraveled. Authorities spent five weeks searching the reserve, yet within the Laundries’ first hour out, they had a major lead.

However, another controversial topic highlights the red flag authorities missed during the Moab domestic violence call. Preventive clues supposedly debuted when Petito and Laundrie met law enforcement way back in August. Additionally, outlets have stated authorities are withholding footage of the incident from a third body camera at the scene. Together, the circumstances have domestic violence survivors speaking out about the mistakes law enforcement made during the stop.

Some survivors claim footage featuring Gabby Petito’s description of the violent incident pointed to the woman’s future demise. Domestic violence survivor Kayla Walters (35) shared with Buzzfeed that the way in which Petitio grabbed her own face while telling officers about the couple’s violent argument indicated Laundrie was capable of strangulation.

Walters shared with the outlet, “If [Brian Laundrie] could do that, he could go further.” Many survivors conceded the fact, Walters claiming, “A lot of survivors thought the same thing…Just by her saying, ‘He grabbed my face.'”

Gabby Petito Falls Under ‘1 in 4’ Category

In speaking of Gabby Petito’s strangulation, Upworthy cited the National Institute of Justice. The organization’s research states individuals who’ve experienced attempted chokings or strangulations before are nearly ten times more likely to be murdered than others. Further, those familiar with statistics regarding domestic violence know 1 in 4 women will suffer at the hands of their partner at some point or another.

Indications, then, reveal Gabby Petito’s future strangulation went undetected by law enforcement. Yet, the outlet stated the image in the bodycam footage was an “all-too-common” image for survivors.

Kit Hunt (52), another strangulation survivor from Austin stated, “Everybody knew before the [coroner’s] report came out how she died.” She further shared with Buzzfeed, “We need to talk about how common this is,” as demonstrated by the 1 in 4 statistic above.

“We’re not believed,” Hunt continued. She added, “We focus on the crime, and then everybody forgets about it. We need more discussion, that’s what we’re missing.”

Additionally, it’s important to note that 68% of domestic violence survivors stand to suffer near-fatal strangulation, according to the Family Justice Center. As such, even those who survive the horrendous ordeal don’t frequently exhibit physical signs of strangulation. The fact makes cases like Gabby Petito’s difficult to detect and report.

However, people continue to gather behind the growing Justice for Gabby movement. Additionally, more details from the investigation slowly unravel. As such, hopefully, law enforcement, and the public overall, become more aware of the signs of domestic abuse.