A newly released photo seems to show injuries Gabby Petito may have gotten before she was stopped by police in Moab, Utah, after a witness said they saw her and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, fighting.
The selfie, which Petito supposedly took on her cell phone, was taken in Moab on August 12, 2021, in the back of her van.
Family lawyer Brian C. Stewart says, “I think she knew she was in trouble and that this went too far when she took that picture in the back of the van.”
“According to the information we have, the picture was taken at 4:37 p.m., or before the first 911 call,” lawyers for Petito’s parents said.
The picture showed that she had been cut under her left eye and that blood was all over her cheek and forehead.
Nichole Schmidt and Joe Petito, Petito’s parents, filed a lawsuit in November, saying that Petito, who was 22 at the time, showed one of the officers the injury, but “he ignored her and did nothing else to investigate or document the injury.”
In the lawsuit, her parents said that their daughter would still be alive if the Moab police officers hadn’t botched their interaction with Laundrie on August 12, 2021. Laundrie killed Petito a few weeks later.
Stewart says, “It breaks my heart to see her hurt, scared, and in need, and for her needs to be ignored the way they were.” “We think that if they had looked into those injuries and asked the right questions, they would have known how dangerous she was and she would have known how dangerous she was. We think that if they had done it right, she would still be alive today.”
Lisa Church, the communications manager for the City of Moab, tells PEOPLE that the city won’t say anything about lawsuits that are going on or that are about to start.
Last September, body camera footage of the incident was made public. It showed Laundrie acting normally and a crying Petito defending her 23-year-old boyfriend’s actions by saying she hit him in the face during their fight.
In the paperwork they filled out after the call, the police called it a “mental health crisis” instead of a case of domestic violence.
The city of Moab asked for an independent review of the actions of the police officers. The review found that the police made “unintentional mistakes” because they didn’t charge Ms. Petito with domestic violence, according to a statement about the review’s findings.
“The people of Moab are very sorry for the loss of the Petito family member. As they continue to deal with the terrible loss of their daughter, our hearts go out to them “what was being said.
When she went missing in late August 2021, Petito and Laundrie were on a cross-country trip. She was reported missing on September 11, 10 days after Laundrie quietly went back to his parents’ Florida home without her, but with her van.
Authorities looked for her in the Wyoming wilderness. Four days before Petito’s body was found in Grand Teton National Park, Laundrie was named a person of interest in her disappearance. A medical examiner found that she had been strangled to death on purpose.
Laundrie, who vanished around the same time amid nationwide calls for his arrest, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the Florida wilderness last October.
Next to his body, authorities found a notebook containing Laundrie’s full confession.