Gabby Petito told police her ‘downer’ fiancé didn’t think she could make it as a travel influencer, according to bodycam footage



A still of police bodycam footage showing Gabby Petito outside a police car on August 12. She looks upset.

Gabby Petito outside a police car on August 12. MCPD

  • About a month before Gabby Petito was reported missing, she was questioned by police.

  • After Petito and her boyfriend were pulled over, she told officers he was a “downer.”

  • Petito said he didn’t believe she could start a career as a travel blogger.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

About a month before she was reported missing, Gabby Petito tearfully told police officers that her boyfriend didn’t believe in her dream. The 22-year-old, whose disappearance has caught the attention of people across the globe, was pulled over in Utah on August 12. She told officers that her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, was a “downer,” according to newly released bodycam footage.

“I just quit my job to travel across the country, and I’m trying to start a blog, a travel blog, so I’ve been building my website,” Petito can be heard saying in the recording that was released by Utah police on September 16. “I’ve been really stressed, and he doesn’t really believe that I can do any of it.”

The Moab City police officers who pulled Petito and Laundrie over had directed Petito to exit the couple’s van and stand several feet away to answer questions. Petito described quitting her job as a nutritionist to document her cross-country road trip with Laundrie, who police say is a “person of interest” in Petito’s disappearance.

Petito was reported missing on September 11, 10 days after Laundrie returned to North Port, Florida, in their van, without her. Laundrie has since refused to speak with authorities about Petito, despite police and her family pleading that he help find her.

Petito’s disappearance has attracted widespread attention in part because she documented the road trip on Instagram and YouTube, where she posted one “Van Life” travel vlog with Laundrie under the name Nomadic Statik.

On August 12, in Moab, officers considered charging Petito with domestic violence after she said that she slapped Laundrie during a dispute and hit him again while they were getting pulled over. The officers declined to charge Petito after she told them she had no intention to physically hurt or impair Laundrie. Petito said Laundrie had stopped her from getting into the van earlier by telling her she needed to calm down first.

“I was trying to get him to stop telling me to calm down,” she says in the footage.

In a later police report, the officers described the incident as a “mental health crisis” and opted to have the couple separate for a night, with Petito staying in the van and Laundrie staying in a hotel room.

Petito and Laundrie had been together for more than two years at the time of her disappearance. They started dating in March 2019 and moved to Florida together, where Laundrie proposed in July 2020. Petito’s mother told outlets that her daughter and Laundrie called off their engagement, feeling they were too young to get married, before setting out in July on their road trip.

Representatives for Laundrie did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider’s Digital Culture team here.

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