Investigative Review of Aug. 12, 2021 Petito-Laundrie Incident in Moab

Statement On Investigative Review of Aug. 12 Petito-Laundrie Incident

After a formal complaint was filed with the Moab City Police Department, an independent law enforcement agency has completed a thorough review of the August 12, 2021 domestic violence incident involving Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie. 

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The independent agency’s investigative report finds that the officers who responded to the incident made several unintentional mistakes that stemmed from the fact that officers failed to cite Ms. Petito for domestic violence. The City acknowledges that this finding may raise questions, and the issue is examined extensively in the investigative report.

The report recommends improvements to both the policies and the training of the Moab City Police Department. These recommendations include: providing additional training in domestic violence investigation, as well as additional legal training to ensure officers understand state laws and statutes; conducting an overall policy review; conducting a software review; and strengthening the review process for incident reports. The investigative report also finds that a statement was never obtained from the original 911 caller, and recommends that be done to make the incident report more complete. The City intends to implement the report’s recommendations.

Based on the report’s findings, the City of Moab believes our officers showed kindness, respect and empathy in their handling of this incident. As the Moab City Police Department continues its daily mission to serve our community, efforts are underway to provide additional resources and tools to assist the in addressing domestic violence incidents. Plans are in place to add a trained domestic violence specialist to oversee incidents investigated by Moab officers. We also will implement added and ongoing training and testing to ensure that the officers understand policies and procedures.

The City of Moab sends our sincere condolences to the Petito family. Our hearts go out to them as they continue to deal with the tragic loss of their daughter.