Utah Police said they responded to a physical altercation last month between a New York woman and her fiance as they were traveling across the country – an alleged incident that occurred within a months before her family reported her missing.
A responding officer wrote that Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, 22, slapped Brian Laundrie after an argument, according to a report from the City of Moab Police Department released Wednesday. But she and Laundrie told the officer that they didn’t want to press charges and that they loved each other.
The incident happened on the afternoon of August 12, according to the report. Petito’s family said they lost contact with her in late August and reported her missing on Saturday. Laundrie is now a person of interest in the investigation into his disappearance, police confirmed on Wednesday.
Representatives for the Petito and Laundrie families did not immediately respond to an NBC News request for comment on the Utah police report.
The officer who responded to the August 12 incident spoke with Petito, Laundrie and a witness, whose name was partially redacted in the report, according to the report.
“The three people told me a similar and cohesive story, consisting of the basic idea that the driver of the van, a man, had an argument with the woman, Gabbie, if I remember correctly,” the driver said. report.
“The man tried to create a distance by telling Gabbie to walk around and calm down. She didn’t want to be separated from the man and started slapping him. Van.”
The incident appeared to be more of a mental and emotional “break” than a domestic incident, police said.
“No one reported that the man hit the woman, the man and the woman said they were in love and engaged and must be married and they did not desperately want to see anyone accused of a crime, “according to the report. no significant injuries have been reported and the two have agreed that Gabbie suffers from severe anxiety. “
The couple agreed to go their separate ways for the night and no charges were filed, according to the report.
The Moab City Police Officer wrote that when he arrived at the scene near the Moonflower Co-op, he was looking for a white Ford Transit van, which was then pulled over by another officer near the entrance. from Arches National Park. At the scene, the Moab officer said there were also two park officers, according to the report.
The revelation that Utah police met Petito, of Blue Point, Long Island, before she went missing, comes as authorities continue to search for her and determine her whereabouts. Petito was last known in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming in late August when she stopped communicating with her family, police said.
The couple had documented their trips in the white 2012 Ford Transit van on YouTube under the nicknames Nomadic Statik and Van Life. That pickup truck, with Florida license plates, and the laundry eventually returned to the town of North Port, south of Tampa, but without the woman, police said.
Police said Laundrie “did not make himself available for questioning by investigators” and “did not provide any useful details.” He has been designated a Person of Interest by North Port Police. The FBI is participating in the investigation.