New police bodycam footage has emerged of murdered Gabby Petito telling an officer about a physical fight between her and her fiancé just weeks before she vanished.
Police from Moab, Utah, stopped the 22-year-old and her long-time partner, Brian Laundrie, on August 12 after witnesses called to report a fight between the pair.
In newly released footage of the traffic stop, an officer is seen asking Mr Laundrie about claims of a dispute.
He tells the cop he “pushed her away” because Ms Petito, 22, “gets really worked up”.
“When she does she swings and she had her cell phone in her hand. So I was just trying to push her away,” Mr Laundrie says.
He steps out of the van and police speak with him. Another officer speaks with Ms Petito, who is sobbing. He asks her about the allegations and about marks he spots on her face and arm.
The officer asks Ms Petito if her fiancé hit her.
She says she slapped Mr Laundrie “a couple” of times after a disagreement. Ms Petito say her fiancé “kept telling me to shut up”.
The officer asks again if Mr Laundrie hit Ms Petito.
“I guess,” she says, sobbing.
“But I hit him first.”
He asks where Mr Laundrie hit her.
“He grabbed my face,” she says, using her hand to squeeze her cheeks together to demonstrate.
“He didn’t hit me in the face. He didn’t punch me. He grabbed me with his (finger)nail. I definitely have a cut right here.”
She points to her cheek and says “it burns”.
Witness recalls argument: 'Weird vibe'
A short time later the officer calls a witness to corroborate the events.
The witness says he saw the couple “were arguing a bit”.
“I want to say that he was trying to grab her phone,” he tells the officer.
“I’m not sure exactly why.”
The witness claims Mr Laundrie was blocking the van and not letting Ms Petito in.
“I remember she sort of hit him a few times,” he says.
He describes it as like children fighting “with a weird vibe”. The officer asks the witness if he ever saw Mr Laundrie hit his fiancee.
"I think I saw maybe a push or a shove, but not a full on punch to a face or anything,” he says.
Ms Petito’s death has been ruled a homicide. She went missing during a cross-country US road trip and her body was found near Grand Teton National Park in the state of Wyoming on September 19. She was last seen on August 27 and reported missing on September 11.
Mr Laundrie returned to their Florida home alone on September 1. He was reported missing on September 17 and remains a person of interest.
The US District Court of Wyoming issued a federal arrest warrant for Mr Laundrie issued in relation to the “unauthorised use of a debit card”.
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