Gabby Petito’s family sue police over response to domestic call

Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 2:20 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 3, 2022 at 3:17 PM EDT
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(Gray News) - The family of Gabby Petito filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Moab, Utah, Police Department on Thursday over their response to a 2021 domestic call between the woman and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie.

Her family members are seeking $50 million in damages from the Moab Police Department, arguing officers’ negligence abrogated their duty, violated Utah law and led to her tragic death.

Petito was found dead in Wyoming weeks after Moab officers responded to a domestic violence call and didn’t cite or arrest either her or her boyfriend.

The city defended the officers’ conduct in response to the lawsuit, saying they were kind and respectful and couldn’t have predicted the subsequent tragedy.

Nichole Schmidt, Gabby’s mother, said in a Thursday news conference that more should have been done to protect her daughter.

“There are laws put in place to protect victims, and those laws were not followed, and we don’t want this to happen to anybody else, and it keeps happening,” Schmidt said.

Gabby Petito is seen in body cam footage during a domestic violence call in Moab, Utah, in 2021.
Gabby Petito is seen in body cam footage during a domestic violence call in Moab, Utah, in 2021.(Source: Moab Police Department/CNN)

A couple of weeks after that domestic incident, Laundrie killed Petito. He returned to his Florida home on Sept. 1 without her, CNN reported.

Her body was found in Grand Teton National Park several weeks later after a massive search. Authorities said she was strangled.

Laundrie went missing in a Florida nature preserve. His body was found in mid-October.

He took his own life and admitted to the slaying in a note found next to his body.