Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Gabby Petito update: Newly released high-res photo shows injuries from Utah domestic call

Gabby Petito took picture of herself on phone after caller told police he saw Brian Laundrie hitting her

Attorneys for Gabby Petito’s family have released a previously unseen photo of blood on her face taken during a Utah domestic violence stop just weeks before her suspected murder at the hands of ex-fiance Brian Laundrie.

The law firm Parker & McConkie first described the existence of the photo in a November 2022 wrongful death lawsuit against the Moab City Police Department, which encountered the travel-blogging couple on Aug. 12, 2021, after a witness reported seeing Laundrie hitting Petito and trying to take her phone and drive off without her outside the Moonflower Co-op, an organic grocer off the city’s main drag.

The photo was taken by Petito herself shortly before the stop, and it was recovered from her phone, according to the law firm.

Gabby Petito with blood on her face in an Aug. 12, 2021, traffic stop in Moab, Utah. (Parker & McConkie)

“According to available data, the image was taken at 4:37 p.m., at or before the approximate time of the initial 911 call,” the family’s attorneys said in a statement Tuesday.

As Fox News Digital was first to report, a witness called in an alleged domestic violence incident around 4:30 p.m. on the day of the incident.

Police bodycam footage shows Moab police arriving to a stop in the entranceway to Arches National Park about 15 minutes later.

Authorities interviewed the couple for nearly an hour.

Moab Police Officer Eric Pratt, in bodycam footage released by investigators, is seen speaking to Brian Laundrie on Aug. 12, 2021. (Moab City Police Department)

The civil complaint states that “Gabby took a photograph of her injury, which shows blood across her nose and left eye.”

She allegedly showed the injury to Moab Police Officer Eric Pratt, who the family’s attorneys say ignored her “and did nothing more to investigate or document the injury.”

A Moab spokeswoman said Tuesday that the city does not comment on matters of litigation.

WATCH: Gabby Petito in bodycam footage claims fiance hit her

“The photo demonstrates the cut previously noted on her left cheek as well as blood smeared from her forehead, across her left eye and cheek and over her nose, indicating that she was grabbed over her face in such a way that her airways were likely obstructed,” the Petito-Schmidt attorneys’ statement, posted to the Parker & McConkie website, continues.

“Gabby documented the injury and, during the stop, attempted to tell the Moab officers, however, the seriousness and significance this type of assault and injury was completely ignored.”

Gabby Petito appears highly distraught in Aug. 12, 2021, police bodycam video that shows the couple pulled over in response to a report of a domestic incident between them. (Moab PD)

The Moab police response triggered an outside investigation that found Pratt and fellow Moab Officer Daniel Robbins made “unintentional mistakes” in the Aug. 12, 2021, stop.

They split the couple up for the night and declined to press charges – despite a Utah statute that the Petitos’ lawyers say required them to make an arrest or issue a citation.

Police also, according to the lawsuit, incorrectly labeled Petito the “predominant aggressor” in the altercation outside Moonflower, which her parents’ attorneys said is disproved by the photo.

“Moab Police failed to recognize the violent grabbing of Gabby’s face and obstruction of her nose, mouth, and airways as a critical precursor to her eventual death by strangulation that occurred a short time later,” they said. “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.”

Moab Police Officer Eric Pratt is seen on Oct. 29, 2022. (Fox News Digital)

By Aug. 28, Petito is believed to have been strangled and bludgeoned to death by Laundrie in Wyoming – where her remains were found on Sept. 18.

Laundrie returned to his parents’ Florida home on Sept. 1, driving Petito’s van.

The FBI and local police found him dead in a swamp on Oct. 20 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. A dry bag found nearby contained a handwritten confession to Petito’s death.

Petito’s parents, Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt, are suing Laundrie’s parents as well as Moab police in connection with the series of events that led to and followed her death.