In an ominous selfie taken minutes prior to police arriving at her residence, Gabby Petito reveals a visibly wounded face; this occurred following the panicked 911 call reporting that her boyfriend Brian Laundrie had attacked and ultimately murdered her.
Gabby’s family and their lawyers revealed the photograph while they are constructing a legal case against the Moab, Utah police department.
In the summer of 2021, tragedy struck when 22-year-old Gabby was strangled by Laundrie in Wyoming while on a cross-country journey.
On the afternoon of August 12th, 2021 at precisely 4:37 pm, a selfie was taken and time-stamped.
Within moments, a bystander had contacted the authorities to report that they’d spotted Laundrie attacking Gabby in an Moab parking lot.
Gabby’s eyes brimmed with tears while a purplish-red bruise encircled her eye, evidence of the cruelty inflicted upon her.
The lawyers representing her family allege that the officers who arrived at the scene neglected her injuries.
It is believed that the police’s negligence to take proper action played a role in Gabby’s tragic death later on in the month.
The family of Gabby Laundrie has taken legal action, filing a lawsuit worth $50million against the Moab Police Department for failing to properly address their 911 call regarding an eyewitness account who reported seeing Laundrie striking her and attempting to take her phone shortly before she passed away.
The lawsuit brings together the department, two current officers and two former leaders as defendants.
Following the release of the pictures, Brian Stewart from Parker & McConkie law firm released a statement saying: ‘Moab police failed to listen to Gabby, failed to investigate her injuries and the seriousness of her assault, and failed to follow their own training, policies, and Utah law.’
In the police bodycam footage of their response to the situation, Gabby is seen wearing the exact same clothes as in her selfie.
Laundrie ‘grabbed my face,’ she told the officers while demonstrating how the attack unfolded.
The officer inquired: ‘Did he slap your face or what?’
Gabby responds: ‘He grabbed me with his nail, and I guess that’s why it looks — I definitely have a cut right here. I can feel it. When I touch it, it burns.’
According to reports, after Gabby declared she had struck Laundrie first, the police chose not to investigate further.
According to Utah law, any effort made to restrict the airflow of a victim – be it by covering their mouth or nose – is considered strangulation and should be handled as an aggravated assault case. This was reported by The Salt Lake Tribune.
Rather than treating the event as a crime, the officers classified it as disorderly conduct, meaning both Gabby and Laundrie had to part for the night; while Gabby remained in their van, Laundrie was sent away to Moab.
A month after Gabby’s body was found in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Laundrie tragically took his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Last year, the Petito family’s wrongful death lawsuit against Brian Laundrie’s estate was resolved with a stunning $ 3 million settlement.
This past January, a Florida judge granted Gabby’s family’s request to add Steve Bertolino, the former attorney of Laundrie, as a defendant in their lawsuit against his parents.
Earlier this year, Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt filed a lawsuit against Christopher and Roberta Laundrie alleging that the couple was acutely aware of their son’s involvement in Gabby’s murder yet withheld information regarding her remains.
The Laundries were not only charged with attempting to aid their son in fleeing the county but also accused of being aware of Gabby’s death prior to lawyer Bertolino making a statement regarding her whereabouts.
On September 14, 2021, Bertolino released a press statement on behalf of Laundrie’s parents – when the grieving Gabby’s family was already aware that their daughter had been murdered.
According to Bertolino, the Laundrie family hoped ‘the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is reunited with her family.’
Pat Reilly, on behalf of Petito and Schmidt, vehemently denounces Bertolino’s allegations as ‘outrageous’.
The original lawsuit accused Laundrie’s parents of being cognizant that their son had murdered Gabby and yet, remaining tight-lipped about it.
Last month, Petito’s parents released a statement that read: ‘When they did choose to speak, it was through statements issued by Steven Bertolino.’
On September 13, Laundrie walked away from his parents’ home. Sadly, weeks of desperate attempts to locate him in the submerged Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park came without avail – until October when his remains were discovered there.
After the waters had subsided, police discovered him along with a dramatic handwritten confession and an ominous revolver.