MOAB, Utah (ABC4) — A photo of Gabby Petito recently released to the public shows cuts and smeared blood on her face reportedly indicating that she was grabbed over her face potentially blocking her airways before meeting with Moab Police, Parker & McConkie law firm reports.

The photo, found on Petito’s phone, was taken in the back of her van in Moab around the time of the initial 911 call, the law firm said. The photo was used in the complaint in Petito v. Moab City Police Department on Nov. 2022 but was just now released on Feb. 6 by Petito family attorneys.

A photo of Gabby Petito taken prior to her stop with Moab PD shows cuts and smeared blood on her face. (Courtesy of Parker & McConkie)

Domestic violence experts said concerning the photo, “all the clues lead us to conclude that Gabby was most likely strangled and/or suffocated by Brian before the police arrived on August 12, 2021.” 

In addition, research shows domestic violence victims that are strangled or suffocated are 750% more likely to be killed by their partner, the law firm reports.   

Parker & McConkie claims that Moab Police “failed to recognize the violent grabbing of Gabby’s face and obstruction of her nose, mouth, and airways as a critical precursor to her eventual death by strangulation that occurred a short time later.”

Moab Police Department told ABC4 they do not comment on pending litigations.

The Petito family, including her mom Nicole Schmidt, visited Utah last week to give support for a Utah Senate domestic violence bill that requires police to have more effective training on assessing domestic violence dangers. The bill, S.B.117, unanimously passed in the Senate on Jan. 30.

“Our daughter, Gabby, died as a result of intimate partner violence that could have and should have been identified by law enforcement using the lethality assessment. We believe that if the lethality assessment had been properly used in her situation, together with the recommended support and resources, Gabby would still be alive today,” Schmidt said in a statement.

Parker & McConkie is the Salt Lake City law firm representing the Petito family.