Gabby Petito police probe questions if she would be alive 'if case was handled differently'

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By Carina Murphy

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The Moab Police probe has asked whether Gabby Petito could have been saved if cops had handled the investigation differently.

The Sun reports that Price City Police Captain Brandon Ratcliffe discussed the "what-ifs" of the case in a report titled: "Statement On Investigative Review of Aug. 12 Petito-Laundrie Incident."

Captain Ratcliffe writes in the report: "There are many ‘what-ifs’ that have presented itself as part of this investigation, the primary one being: Would Gabby be alive today if this case was handled differently?

"That is an impossible question to answer despite it being the answer that many people would want to know. Nobody knows and nobody will ever know the details to that question."

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Featured image credit: Instagram/Gabspetito

"My job is to provide information into the details of this investigation and if it was handled appropriately," Captain Ratcliffe adds.

Captain Ratcliffe's words come in the wake of a nearly 100-page report, which examines how the Moab City Police Department handled a domestic dispute between Laundrie and Petito.

Petito's remains were found in Grand Teton National Park on September 19, 2021, after the 22-year-old went missing while on a road trip with her fiance Brian Laundrie. It was later revealed that she died from strangulation.

Laundrie, 23, was the subject of a nationwide manhunt for almost one month, until his remains were found in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on October 21, 2021. Investigators say that he likely died by suicide.

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Credit: Moab Police Department
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Credit: Moab Police Department

Released on Wednesday, the report examines how officers responded to an incident between the pair weeks before Petito's death on August 12, 2021.

After a witness reported seeing the two quarreling violently, police stopped their vehicle to ensure neither was in danger.

The report reveals that officers made "several unintentional mistakes" which meant they "failed to cite Ms. Petito for domestic violence" - a lapse in judgment that they have since been criticized for. "The investigative report also finds that a statement was never obtained from the original 911 caller, and recommends that be done to make the incident report more complete," the report adds.

A formal complaint filed against the police department rebuked officers for not spotting the warning signs of abuse, and ultimately prompting the lengthy report into their handling of the investigation.

Ratcliffe later adds: "After reviewing all the information and speaking with the officers, I am confident and comfortable in stating the mistakes that were made were not made intentionally. The officers did not know what they were doing was wrong at the time."

Included in the document were several recommendations for how Moab Police might handle similar situations better in the future.

"These recommendations include: providing additional training in domestic violence investigation, as well as additional legal training to ensure officers understand state laws and statutes; conducting an overall policy review; conducting a software review; and strengthening the review process for incident reports," the statement reads.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Gabspetito

Gabby Petito police probe questions if she would be alive 'if case was handled differently'

vt-author-image

By Carina Murphy

Article saved!Article saved!

The Moab Police probe has asked whether Gabby Petito could have been saved if cops had handled the investigation differently.

The Sun reports that Price City Police Captain Brandon Ratcliffe discussed the "what-ifs" of the case in a report titled: "Statement On Investigative Review of Aug. 12 Petito-Laundrie Incident."

Captain Ratcliffe writes in the report: "There are many ‘what-ifs’ that have presented itself as part of this investigation, the primary one being: Would Gabby be alive today if this case was handled differently?

"That is an impossible question to answer despite it being the answer that many people would want to know. Nobody knows and nobody will ever know the details to that question."

wp-image-1263128656 size-full
Featured image credit: Instagram/Gabspetito

"My job is to provide information into the details of this investigation and if it was handled appropriately," Captain Ratcliffe adds.

Captain Ratcliffe's words come in the wake of a nearly 100-page report, which examines how the Moab City Police Department handled a domestic dispute between Laundrie and Petito.

Petito's remains were found in Grand Teton National Park on September 19, 2021, after the 22-year-old went missing while on a road trip with her fiance Brian Laundrie. It was later revealed that she died from strangulation.

Laundrie, 23, was the subject of a nationwide manhunt for almost one month, until his remains were found in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on October 21, 2021. Investigators say that he likely died by suicide.

size-full wp-image-1263126600
Credit: Moab Police Department
 wp-image-1263126599
Credit: Moab Police Department

Released on Wednesday, the report examines how officers responded to an incident between the pair weeks before Petito's death on August 12, 2021.

After a witness reported seeing the two quarreling violently, police stopped their vehicle to ensure neither was in danger.

The report reveals that officers made "several unintentional mistakes" which meant they "failed to cite Ms. Petito for domestic violence" - a lapse in judgment that they have since been criticized for. "The investigative report also finds that a statement was never obtained from the original 911 caller, and recommends that be done to make the incident report more complete," the report adds.

A formal complaint filed against the police department rebuked officers for not spotting the warning signs of abuse, and ultimately prompting the lengthy report into their handling of the investigation.

Ratcliffe later adds: "After reviewing all the information and speaking with the officers, I am confident and comfortable in stating the mistakes that were made were not made intentionally. The officers did not know what they were doing was wrong at the time."

Included in the document were several recommendations for how Moab Police might handle similar situations better in the future.

"These recommendations include: providing additional training in domestic violence investigation, as well as additional legal training to ensure officers understand state laws and statutes; conducting an overall policy review; conducting a software review; and strengthening the review process for incident reports," the statement reads.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Gabspetito