A newly released photo of Gabby Petito appears to show the social media star slain by fiancé Brian Laundrie to be bruised and bloodied just minutes before the couple was stopped by Moab, Utah, police officers Aug. 12, 2021.
Attorneys for Parker and McConkie, the law firm handling a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit brought by Petito’s family, say the photo was taken by Petito herself in the back of the couple’s van and timestamped 4:37 p.m.
That would have been just seven minutes prior to the moment Officer Daniel Robbins turns on his bodycam after contacting the van responding to a domestic disturbance call.
Footage from both Robbins’ and fellow officer Eric Pratt’s bodycams fail to clearly show any injuries to Petito’s face, though her left eye and cheek area are often out of camera view as she is interviewed sitting in the back of a squad car.
Petito is wearing the same brown top as in the photo.
At the scene, officers pointed out slight bruising to the left side of her face, which Petito said was caused by a backpack. She later admitted it was Laundrie who “grabbed my face” but only after Petito insisted she struck him first.
The Petito family lawsuit claims Utah’s Moab police Department mishandled the stop and failed to recognize signs of domestic abuse.
Moab officers separated the couple for the night with a “no contact” order, getting the victim (who they identified as Laundrie) a hotel room and directing the aggressor (Petito) to drive the van back to Moab and spend the night in it.
Final Days In Jackson Hole
Less than a week after the stop, Petito and Laundrie would be spotted in Jackson, Wyoming, eating at Merry Piglets and shopping at Whole Foods on Aug. 27.
It would be the last time Petito was seen alive.
A massive search for her by the FBI with the assistance of local authorities concluded with Petito’s remains were found at a remote campground in Spread Creek north of Jackson on Bridger-Teton National Forest land.
Teton County Coroner Brent Blue confirmed the 22-year-old was a victim of homicide by strangulation on Sept. 21.
An ensuing search for Laundrie ended a month later when his body was found in a Florida nature reserve with a suicide note admitting to the killing.