GABBY Petito’s cop bodycam footage showed “so many signs of an abusive relationship,” a domestic violence expert said as the manhunt for her fiancé Brian Laundrie continues.
Katie Hood from the One Love Foundation said that it was “triggering” to watch Gabby motion toward her neck while sobbing to Moab police officers on August 12, just two weeks before she was last seen alive.
Hood claimed that Gabby, 22, was in “distress” due to her relationship but attempting to “minimize” the situation.
She also claimed that Gabby was “trying to protect” her fiancé rather than “tell exactly what was going on.”
“When I saw the video, which I had a hard time watching at first, I saw so many signs of someone in distress," Hood told an ID special report on Wednesday night.
"Not someone who was in distress because of mental health issues but someone who very well could be struggling with an abusive relationship.
“You are so emotional and exhausted when you are in an abusive relationship and you don’t really know which way to go and I saw some of that in her hesitation to answer certain questions.
“I also think you see a minimization of some of the signs for example when she says he didn’t hit me or punch me he just grabbed me right here,” Hood added.
“As someone in the domestic violence space, anywhere close to the neck for me is very triggering because I know that if someone strangles you, the chances that you will be killed in that relationship goes up seven times.
“In her attempt to minimize his attack on her, I saw someone trying to protect and bring down the heat of a situation rather than tell exactly what was going on.”
Read our Gabby Petito live blog for the very latest news and updates…
Hood said that when she watched the body cam video, she believed it to be “a typical manifestation of someone in a tough situation.”
“Abusive relationships are emotionally exhausting the whole reason we’re trying to teach about unhealthy relationships to young people is so they can see the signs early and get out before they might end up in an abusive situation,” she continued.
“We know that domestic incidents are a huge consumption of police time, we need better training in this first response team, that first line of response, but really we all need better training
“We tend to miss or minimize the signs of emotional abuse and it’s really the place where intervention is possible and so I think this case will improve training.”
Hood comments come after the coroner who performed Gabby’s autopsy alluded to domestic violence in a press briefing on Tuesday.
Dr Brent Blue initially said that as per Wyoming law, he could not comment on anything other than the manner and cause of death in an ongoing FBI investigation.
He did confirm that Gabby was not pregnant at the time of her death and said the investigation had taken DNA samples from her remains that had been outdoors for three to four weeks before her body was found.
Blue sparked controversy, however, when answering a question about the media attention around the case by stating that it was a “shame” other domestic violence cases do not receive the same coverage.
NO SUSPECT NAMED
The FBI has not officially linked Gabby’s homicide to domestic violence.
Laundrie, 23, has also not been named as a suspect but is a person of interest.
On Wednesday, Dr Blue attempted to clear up his remarks in an interview with NewsNation.
“"There were indications that Gabby was in a domestic relationship which could play a part in this case but I don't have any direct evidence of that,” he said.
“Throttling generally means it was done with human hands rather than with an instrument."
He added that Gabby’s death was determined by the nature of the injuries around the neck.
Dr Blue said that the full autopsy was complete by October 5.
However, he said that the US attorney had asked him to wait a week before making them public.
Hood’s comments come as internet sleuths claim that Laundrie may have "snapped" and killed Gabby in a fit of rage after spending all of his time with her on their months-long road trip.
The pair were already seen arguing by a witness who called 911 in Moab and reported seeing him hit Gabby.
The cops were seen in the body cam footage questioning the pair but decided that Gabby was the “aggressor.”
The couple was ordered to separate for the night but then allowed to resume their trip.
LAUNDRIE SEARCH CONTINUES
Two weeks later on August 27, the day Gabby was last seen alive and when her parents last heard from her, she also reportedly apologized to staff at a Wyoming restaurant for Brian’s anger.
The FBI on Thursday was continuing to search the Carlton Reserve for Laundrie with a K9 unit.
His parents claim he went for a hike in the area on September 13, two days after Gabby was reported missing by her family, but didn’t return.
They did not report him missing until September 17 and Gabby’s remains were found in Wyoming two days later.
A warrant was issued for Laundrie’s arrest on September 24 after a grand jury charged him with misuse of a bank card, which Gabby’s family confirmed was hers.
Former America’s Most Wanted host John Walsh has claimed Chris and Roberta Laundrie may have armed their fugitive son with a gun and are "helping" him dodge the cops.
“I believe he's out there with the aid of his parents,” Walsh explained when asked if Laundrie was still alive.
“They're actively aiding and abetting his escape and they're helping him stay out there,” he said.
He added that Brian may be armed.
“I believe they might have given him a gun,” Walsh said. “And I would hate to see someone else become a victim of this guy.”
Gabby Petito timeline
Gabby Petito, 22, was last seen on August 24, leaving a hotel in Utah. Here is a timeline of Gabby Petito’s disappearance:
- June 2021 – Gabby Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie set off on a cross-country trip across the US.
- July 4 – Gabby posts photos of herself barefoot in Gove County, Kansas.
- July 8 – Gabby posts photos of herself at the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.
- July 18 – Gabby and Brian post photos of themselves at Utah's Zion National Park.
- August 12 – Body camera footage was released in September showing an encounter Brian and Gabby had with police in Utah. Police confirmed that no significant injuries were reported.
- August 19 – Gabby and Brian post a video on their YouTube channel chronicling their trip.
- August 24 – Gabby is spotted leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah.
- August 25 – Gabby Facetimes her mom, Nichole Schmidt, for the final time. In a later police report, Schmidt said her conversations with her daughter revealed "more and more tension" between her and Brian.
- August 25 – Gabby also posts her last Instagram. No location is given.
- August 27 – Gabby is seen for what's believed to be the final time. Witnesses claim they saw Brian in an explosive argument with staff at a restaurant in Jackson Hole, leaving Gabby in tears.
- August 27 – Four hours later, travel bloggers driving through Grand Teton National Park drive past the couple's van "abandoned" on a dirt road.
- September 1 – Brian returns home to Florida without Gabby.
- September 11 – Gabby's parents report her missing to Suffolk County police.
- September 14 – Brian's family issues a statement saying he has retained an attorney and will not be cooperating with investigators.
- September 14 – Brian is allegedly last seen by his family. He reportedly told them he was going hiking in Cartlon Reserve but failed to return.
- September 15 – Florida's North Port police announce Brian is a person of interest in the case. He is not charged with any crime.
- September 16 – Utah police release body camera footage of the police encounter with Brian and Gabby.
- September 17 – Brian's parents say they have not seen their son in a couple of days and report him missing.
- September 18 – Police announce they were searching Carlton Reserve in Florida for Brian. Police announce they have not found anything.
- September 19 – Authorities in Wyoming say they found a body in Grand Teton National Park. The FBI announces the body was believed to be Gabby's but a full forensic identification needs to be completed first to confirm.
- September 20 – Police execute a search warrant on Laundrie's home, seizing his silver Mustang and a hard drive that may contain "evidence relevant to proving that a felony has been committed."
- September 21 – Officials announce they will be conducting an autopsy on the remains found in Wyoming to confirm whether or not they belong to Gabby. Police also resumed their search for Laundrie, this time on the Venice side of Carlton Reserve.
- September 21 – The FBI announced the body found in Wyoming was identified as Gabby's. The cause of death was not yet revealed.
- September 21 – The Teton County Coroner's office said Gabby's official cause of death was still pending but the initial manner of death is homicide.
- September 22 – Police continue to scour Carlton Reserve for a trace of Laundrie but yield no leads. A specialist dive team is called in to assist with the hunt.
- September 23 – Officials announced a federal arrest warrant for Brian was issued.
- September 26 – Gabby's funeral was held on Long Island, New York.
- October 12: Gabby's autopsy results were made public. Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue confirmed Gabby died by strangulation.
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