Moab Police chief takes leave amid investigation into handling of Petito incident

Gabby Petito

MOAB, Utah (ABC4) – The chief of police in Moab is taking leave amid an investigation into his department’s handling of an incident between Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie.

Moab Police Chief Bret Edge is out for federal Family Medical Leave Act time, according to the Moab Times-Independent. When asked about recent controversies involving the department, including the August interaction with Petito and Laundrie, the Times-Independent reports Edge declined to answer.

In mid-August, Moab Police stopped Petito and Laundrie outside Arches National Park after receiving a call that the pair may have been involved in a domestic incident in Moab. During their time speaking with the couple, officers determined Petito was the primary aggressor, despite witnesses saying Laundrie had hit her and opted not to arrest either.

By the time Moab Police spoke with Petito and Laundrie, they were already a number of weeks into a cross-country road trip. Less than a month later, on September 11, Petito’s family in New York reported her missing. Eight days later, Petito was found dead in Wyoming. Authorities are continuing to search for Laundrie in Florida.

In the days after Petito was reported missing, Moab Police released body camera footage, the police report filed, the initial call to 911 by a witness, a witness report, and – most recently – the dispatch audio between dispatchers and responding officers. The City of Moab recently announced it will investigate how Moab Police handled the situation between Petito and Laundrie.

City officials shared the following statement with ABC4 regarding Edge’s leave:

“Police Chief Edge has requested FMLA medical leave, effective Monday, Sept. 27. We cannot provide any additional details or information. The Assistant Police Chief will be in charge of the department until Chief Edge returns.”

Edge’s return date is currently unknown.

For continuing coverage of the Petito investigation, click here.

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