Gabby Petito's Selfie Documenting Injuries Before 911 Call Is An Entirely New Level Of Devastating

The following article contains mention of domestic violence.

A little over year ago, the Gabby Petito case dominated the true crime world. Petito was 22 years old when you disappeared while on a road trip across the US with her fiancé Brian Laundrie. The case first grabbed the nation's attention as Laundrie returned home to Florida in November 2021 without Petito but did not report her missing. Eventually, Petito's parents contacted the authorities, and the search began.

The case captured the public' eye because Petito was an aspiring influencer, so her "van life" journey with Laundrie was well-documented. Of course, Petito didn't show every part of her relationship. Behind the veneer of perfection hid a situation that had long since become dangerous. In the months following her disappearance, it became obvious how much things had deteriorated between Petito and Laundrie. One of the most damning pieces of evidence against Laundrie — who took his own life before he could be arrested – was dashcam footage of officers attempting to resolve an alleged domestic violence dispute between the two.

Petito's body was found in Wyoming on September 19. After Laundrie died, a notebook containing his confession was also found. Over a year after her disappearance, social media and other digital footprints are still helping onlookers piece together what happened to Petito in her final days.

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Police ignored Gabby Petito

In the wake of their daughter's death, Gabby Petito's parents have filed a $50 million lawsuit against the Moab, Utah, police department for the wrongful death of their daughter. The suit is directed specifically at Moab Police Officer Eric Pratt, according to Oxygen. The now-pending lawsuit alleges that Pratt refused to help Petito because of his own bias due to his alleged history of domestic violence.

In August 2021, officers responded to a call from a concerned citizen who claimed he saw Brian Laundrie slap Petito. After spending an hour with the couple, officers split them up, sending Laundrie to a hotel and leaving Petito with their van. Petito disappeared days later. The Petito family's attorneys released a selfie taken by Petito around the time the officers arrived. In the photo, Petito can be seen sobbing with blood smeared across her face. Despite the evidence against Laundrie, Pratt labeled Petito the primary aggressor and refused to help her further.

While seeking justice for their daughter, Petito's parents are also determined to help other victims of domestic violence. Petito's parents recently attended a legislative hearing in Utah to pass a bill giving more rights to survivors, per KSL. "The Petito family is heartbroken to see how Moab police officers failed to recognize the danger Gabby was in," their attorney said. "They remain committed to making sure legislators and law enforcement will have the necessary training and resources to identify and prevent similar tragedies in the future."