Gabby Petito’s family archives claim the police failed her

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Gabby Petito’s family notified Utah authorities Monday of their plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit alleging police failed to acknowledge their daughter was in a life-threatening situation last year. when officers were investigating a fight between her and her boyfriend. . The fight occurred weeks before authorities said her boyfriend killed her while the couple was traveling in a pickup truck across the country.

The notice of claim contends that police in the resort town of Moab saw no signs that Petito was a victim of domestic violence at the hands of Brian Laundrie on August 12, 2021. Officers eventually allowed the couple to leave after asking them to they will spend the night besides.

Police body camera video from that day showing Petito, 22, visibly upset was widely viewed as the investigation unfolded and raised questions about whether a different police response could have prevented his death.

“If the officers had received the proper training and followed the law, Gabby would still be alive today,” attorney James McConkie said in a statement announcing the filing of the lawsuit notice.

Notices of claims are required before people can sue government entities and the family’s claim said the lawsuit will seek $50 million in damages.

Moab officials did not immediately respond to phone and email messages Monday seeking comment on the claim.

Petito was reported missing a month after that traffic stop, and her strangled body was discovered on September 19 on the edge of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Laundrie, 23, later killed herself in Florida after being named the only person of interest in her death. Petito and Landrie were originally from Long Island, New York.

Petito’s search drew worldwide attention, sparking a amateur detectives to search for clues on social networks. also brought scrutiny by authorities and the mediaboth of which have been criticized for focusing more attention on missing white women than on women of color.

Earlier this year, an independent investigation found that Moab police did “several unintentional errors” when they met Petito and Laundrie.

In the report, police said Petito was most likely “a victim of long-term domestic violence, whether physical, mental and/or emotional.”

Laundrie committed suicide in a Florida swamp, leaving behind a notebook which authorities said contained a confession.

Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, spoke about her daughter last week when announcing a $100,000 donation from the Gabby Petito Foundation to partner with the National Domestic Violence Hotline to help others survive turbulent and violent relationships.

Schmidt told The Associated Press in an interview last week that he still has a lot of unanswered questions about what went wrong.

“Looking back, I didn’t really see any signs. I think the only two people who will ever know what happened in that relationship were Gabby and Brian. And we can guess and make assumptions, but we don’t really know what happened,” she added. “Most likely, the scenario ended that way because something was going on for a while.”

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