Investigation announced into handling of Gabby Petito’s encounter with Moab Police

Gabby Petito

Courtesy of Moab City Police Department

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MOAB, Utah (ABC4) – In response to some feedback given by the public regarding the department’s handling of a call involving the deceased Gabby Petito and her missing fiance Brian Laundrie, the city of Moab announced it will hold a formal investigation.

On Aug. 12, Moab Police were sent to investigate a call that came into Grand County Dispatch that reported Petito and Laundrie having an explosive argument, which allegedly included a physical altercation, outside of the Moonflower Community Cooperative in town.

Bodycam footage released after Petito had been reported missing and a nationwide search underway showed the conversation between the couple and the responding officers, who pulled over the two in their van shortly after receiving the dispatch.

There has been criticism of the officers’ response, which included separating the two for the night with no arrests made, especially in light of the discovery of Petito’s body in Wyoming weeks after the incident in Utah.

WATCH: Moab Police bodycam video

“We understand that individuals can view the same situation in very different ways, and we recognize how the death of Ms. Petito more than two weeks later in Wyoming might lead to speculation, in hindsight, about actions taken during the incident in Moab,” a statement from the city reads. “The purpose of the City’s formal investigation is to gather the underlying facts and evidence necessary to make a thorough, informed evaluation of such actions.”

“Ultimately, we depend on our law enforcement officers to make the best possible decisions in evaluating every incident individually, based on the circumstances they encounter in that immediate moment. We also appreciate the assistance in this incident from cooperating rangers with the National Park Service,” the statement continues.

The city adds that all information from the incident on Aug. 12 will be available to the law enforcement agencies still gathering information on Petito’s death, which includes the still unknown whereabouts of Laundrie.

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