Gabby Petito told police her fiancé was a ‘downer’ who didn’t believe she would succeed with travel blog

Police have named Brian Laundrie as a person of interest in investigation

Harriet Sinclair
Saturday 18 September 2021 15:40
Police release body camera footage of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie together
Leer en Español

Missing van life blogger Gabby Petito told police that her fiance didn’t think she could make her travel website successful and described him as a “downer” following an argument that prompted bystanders to call 911.

Ms Petito was reported missing by her family on 11 September after her fiance Brian Laundrie returned from their trip alone at the beginning of the month. She was last heard from at the end of August, several weeks after having an argument with Mr Laundrie that resulted in law enforcement being called.

In body cam footage shared by Utah police – who responded to a 12 August call about the pair having a dispute – the 22-year-old tells an officer: “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.

“I’ve been really stressed, and he doesn’t really believe that I can do any of it ... so that’s kind of been like ... he’s like a downer,” she added.

The dispute between the pair saw Ms Petito hit Mr Laundrie, she said in the footage, adding that Mr Laundrie had grabbed her by the face. Neither was charged in the incident, which occurred several weeks before Ms Petito’s disappearance, although they were separated for the night – with Mr Laundrie staying in a nearby hotel while Ms Petito slept alone in the van.

Since returning from the couple’s cross-county road trip solo, Mr Laundrie has been named as a person of interest by police investigating her disappearance but has thus far has refused to speak with authorities.

And on Friday, Mr Laundrie’s family lawyer contacted police to say that he had disappeared and his family had not spoken with him since last Tuesday (14 September).

Police have since confirmed that they are now conducting two missing persons investigations.

However, the family of Ms Petito have accused Mr Laundrie of “hiding”. In a statement posted to Twitter, they said: “All of Gabby’s family want the world to know that Brian is not missing, he is hiding. Gabby is missing.”