Gabby Petito Case: Inside the Motel Brian Laundrie Stayed In After Being Stopped by Police

by Courtney Blackann

As the search for Brian Laundrie continues, police are investigating every avenue available to them. Though Laundrie has been missing since Sept. 17, authorities are devoting every resource to locating the man. This includes the motel the 23-year-old stayed in following an altercation with girlfriend Gabby Petito.

The Moab police brought Laundrie to the Bowen Motel after they suggested the couple separate for a night in mid-August. At the time, the two were pulled over and questioned about a domestic dispute that witnesses called 911 about, citing that Laundrie hit Petito.

During this stop, authorities witnessed a highly stressed and emotional Petito. She told authorities the two had been “fighting all morning.” Though she was apparently hysterical and anxious, Petito said Laundrie didn’t hurt her.

However, she admitted he grabbed face and locked her out of their van. Laundrie claimed he was trying to get the 22-year-old to calm down. Ultimately, investigators didn’t press any charges, but offered to take Laundrie to a hotel for the evening. Their goal was to let the couple calm down and recuperate from the argument. Petito stayed with their 2012 Ford Transit.

While details about his stay are unknown, The U.S. Sun reported the staff is cooperating with the law enforcement investigation. Because Laundrie couldn’t afford a hotel on his own, Moab police helped him find the motel, which was sometimes used for domestic violence victims.

The incident happened 13 days before Petito went missing.

Gabby Petito’s Strained Relationship with Brian Laundrie

In the days since the world learned of Gabby Petito’s death, thousands have offered her family support. FBI officials found her remains in the Grand Teton National Park a week after she was reported missing on Sept. 11. Her death was ruled a homicide after an autopsy was conducted.

Brian Laundrie returned home to Florida on Sept. 1 without Petito. This was a deviation from their plans to travel for four months by van. He and his parents, Chris and Roberta, hired an attorney and invoked their Constitutional right not to speak to authorities.

Then Laundrie went missing. His family said they hadn’t seen him since Sept. 14. They believed him to have disappeared into a nature reserve nearby. Since that time, a massive search of the Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County is ongoing for the man.

Amid the speculation of why Laundrie disappeared, friends of the couple have come forward to describe their relationship. Many agreed the couple were unstable – having “very high highs and very low lows.” The two began dating in high school and had been on-again-off-again for two years. Earlier this year, they’d announced their engagement.

Most recently, police officers issued an arrest warrant for Laundrie for unauthorized use of a credit card in the days following Petito’s disappearance. If he’s found, he will be arrested on the charge as they continue to look into Petito’s homicide.