A recently disclosed photograph depicts Gabby Petito with a bruised and cut face shortly before an encounter with officers from the Moab City Police Department in Utah, and weeks before her untimely death in Wyoming.
TMX reported that the photo was shared by attorneys representing the Petito family, who have filed a lawsuit against the Moab police regarding their handling of the incident on August 12, 2021. In the image, 22-year-old Petito is shown with blood visible over her left eye.
Moab police had responded to the scene after receiving a 911 call reporting an altercation between Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie. After determining that Petito had been the aggressor, the police released both individuals.
According to the lawsuit, footage from body-worn cameras reveals Petito describing her injuries, including blood on her nose and left eye, which “indicated that she was grabbed over her face in such a way that her airways were likely obstructed.”
The complaint alleges that officers “disregarded her statements and took no further action to investigate or document the injury.” Attorneys argue that the manner in which Petito’s airway was obstructed constitutes a form of strangulation, which should have been further investigated in accordance with Utah law.
Tragically, on August 28, just over two weeks after the incident in Moab, Petito was beaten and strangled to death in Wyoming. Her remains were discovered on September 18.
Laundrie, who had driven back to Florida in Petito’s van, later went missing. He was found deceased on October 20, having died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A handwritten note confessing to Petito’s murder was also found.