MOAB, Utah, Sept. 14, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Moab Police Chief Bret Edge confirmed to Gephardt Daily on Tuesday evening that officers responded to an incident involving missing Long Island woman Gabrielle Petito last month.
Petito, 22, was reported missing after traveling with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie to Utah and Wyoming.
Edge told us that officers did respond to an incident involving Laundrie and Petito on Aug. 12.
“Neither Brian or Gabrielle were the reporting party,” Edge said. “Officers conducted an investigation and determined that insufficient evidence existed to justify criminal charges.”
Edge was not able to provide further details of the incident.
Petito, who posted Instagram photos of her trips through Utah, Wyoming and other states, was last heard from in late August. Laundrie has since returned to his family’s home with the van he and Petito used in their extended travels and is not cooperating with police.
Earlier Tuesday, an attorney hired by the family of Laundrie released a statement.
“This is understandably an extremely difficult time for both the Petito family and the Laundrie family,” the attorney’s statement says. “It is our understanding that a search has been organized for Miss Petito in or near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
“On behalf of the Laundrie family it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is re-united with her family. On the advice of counsel the Laundrie family is remaining in the background at this juncture and will have no further comment.”
Police in New York state have also asked for help finding the Long Island woman, who went missing in the mountain west.
Petito was reported missing to the Suffolk County Police Department by her family on Sept. 11. According to the family, they were last in contact with “Gabby” during the last week of August. Prior to the last communication, Petito is believed to have been in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming; before that, she and Laundrie were visiting northern and southern Utah.
On Tuesday afternoon, Petito’s parents released a statement urging Laundrie to tell the family where he was last with her.
“The Schmidt and Petito family are going through the worst moments of their lives. Their beautiful 22-year-old daughter is missing and the one person who can help find Gabby refuses to help. Brian Laundrie was traveling with Gabby in the Grand Teton-Yellowstone area. They were traveling together in Gabby’s 2012 Ford Transit van. This is where we believe Gabby was last seen.
“Brian is refusing to tell Gabby’s family where he last saw her. Brian is also refusing to explain why he left Gabby all alone and drove her van to Florida. These are critical questions that require immediate answers.
“The Schmidt and Petito family beg the Laundrie family to ‘not remain in the background’ but to find who Brian referred to as the love of his life. How does Brian stay in the background when he is the last person who knows where Gabby is located?
“The Schmidt and Petito family implore Brian to come forward and at least tell us if we are looking in the right area.”
Petito chronicled her extended travels in YouTube videos, like the one below:
Petito is Caucasian, approximately 5 feet 5 inches tall, and weighs 110 pounds. She has blond hair, blue eyes, and several tattoos, including one on her finger and one on her forearm that reads “let it be.”
Detectives are asking anyone with information on Petito’s disappearance to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls can remain anonymous.