By Peter Szekely
(Reuters) – Police in Utah released a video on Thursday of an August encounter with a now-missing Florida woman tearfully describing a dispute she had on a road trip with her boyfriend, who has been named a person of interest in her disappearance.
According to bodycam footage, Gabby, 22-year old, and Brian Laundrie, described a fight that occasionally turned into mildly violent for Moab (Utah) police. The van was stopped after they received a report about domestic disturbance.
Both were not charged during the one-hour encounter on August 12, which saw them both being questioned at separate times.
Petito and Laundrie started their trip in June, driving in Laundrie’s van. Police stated that they posted video along the route on social networks.
According to police, contact with her family ended in August when she was thought to be in Wyoming. Laundrie returned home to North Port in September, and Petito’s parents reported Petito as missing 10 days later.
Petito’s disappearance along with Laundrie’s refusal of discussing it has become a worldwide mystery, which North Port police, Florida have been trying to solve day after night.
North Port Police chief Todd Garrison claimed that video from Utah would be insufficient to aid investigators at a Thursday news conference.
“Yes, they had a disturbance, yes, it was captured on a body camera – their interaction with law enforcement – but beyond that, I don’t know what it has to do with the disappearance,” Garrison said.
Garrison stated that although Laundrie has been the focus of attention, police consider the case a missing persons case and are working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to resolve it.
“Two people went on a trip, one person returned, and that person that returned isn’t providing us any information,” he said.
The investigators continued to sift through the large volume of information in search for clues. They also analyzed the van.
Joe Petito, Garrison’s father and Gabby’s attorney, requested that anyone who has any information on her location come forward.
Steven Bertolino (Laundrie’s lawyer) defended the client’s silence during Wednesday’s statement. He said that anything he said could potentially be used against him “regardless whether my client was involved in Ms. Petito’s disappearance.”
The Moab video shows Petito, who was often angry, blaming their disagreement in part to her obsessive-compulsive disorder. Laundrie, however, stated that they had just had a small dispute there.
Petito claimed she hit Laundrie on the arm and Laundrie stated that he tried to push her away with his hand.
Officers told the couple they would have separate accommodation for the night after the encounter.
“I want you guys to stay away from each other,” an officer tells Petito. “From what you told me, what he told me, you guys have a bunch of little things that are building and building.”