Brian Laundry, 23, and his fiancé, Gabby Petito, 22, left in mid-June for a cross-county road trip in a converted white Ford Transit van
The chief of Utah’s Moab Police Department is stepping down and taking a leave of absence, just days after the city announced it last month in a possible domestic violence case involving Gabby Pettito and Brian Laundry, Granthshala News Digital officers. will examine. Has been confirmed.
Police Chief Brett Edge requested a leave of absence under the Family Medical Leave Act beginning Monday, Moab City Communications Director Lisa Church confirmed to Granthshala News. The news was first reported by the Moab Times-Independent.
Edge and Moab Mayor Emily Niehaus did not immediately respond to Granthshala News’ requests for comment. Meanwhile, the church declined to answer further questions about the reason for Edge’s absence and whether it was related to recent disputes within the department. It was unclear when Edge would return to his position, or who would replace him in the meantime.
Gabby Petito update: Former Utah police chief urges public to ‘wait and see’ amid Moab response investigation
Brian Laundry, 23, and his fiancé, Gabby Petito, 22, left in mid-June for a cross-county road trip in a converted white Ford Transit van. According to law enforcement records, they got into a physical altercation while in Moab, Utah, on August 12, which led to the police arresting a possible domestic violence case.
Ultimately, the police there decided to separate the quarreling couple for the night. But no charges were filed, and no one was seriously injured.
The city of Moab said on Thursday it would conduct a formal investigation into its handling of the dispute. City officials said they were not aware of any violations of the department’s policies, but intended to conduct a “fully informed assessment” based on the results of the investigation.
Police records show that on August 12, police in Moab, Utah, responded to a report of a domestic dispute between the young couple. In the 911 call made at that time, a man can be heard telling the police dispatcher that “the gentleman was slapping the girl.”
The call appears to contradict a police report in which an officer says “no one reported that the man hit the woman.”
“The man tried to distance himself by telling Gabbo[y] To go for a walk to calm down, she didn’t want to be separated from the man, and started slapping him.” Tried to lock her and succeeded by leaving her driver’s door open, she opened it and let him go. First forced him to go in another vehicle.”
One of the officers at the scene wrote that the incident “could more accurately be classified as a mental/emotional health ‘break’ than a domestic attack.”
Two women were fatally shot in Moab on August 18, just days after the August 12 911 call. The slain women, 24-year-old Kylan Schulte and 38-year-old Crystal Turner, told friends they feared a “creepy man.” Officials and according to reports at the time, had seen nearby that may have harmed them.
Grand County Sheriff Steven White said in a news release earlier this month that the two cases are unrelated.
On September 1, months after the couple began their journey, Laundry returned to the North Port home in the couple’s van, but without Petito, officials said. 10 days later, on September 11, when the young woman was not reported missing until her mother filed a police report in Suffolk County, NY police confiscated the van from the Laundry’s home on September 11.
MOAB to investigate police handling of Brian Laundry, Gabby Petito controversy
Laundry was later named a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance, and on Thursday the FBI issued an arrest warrant for bank card fraud. Authorities alleged that he used someone’s Capital One bank card and personal identification number during Petito’s disappearance.
Petito’s body was discovered on Sunday in the vicinity of a remote, undeveloped campground along the border of Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming.
Teton County Coroner Brent Blue classified Petito’s death as a homicide—meaning his death was caused by another person—but did not disclose how he was killed until further autopsy results. .
Local, county and federal law enforcement continues their extensive search for laundry with the help of Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman, among others.