Bodycam footage shows chaotic interior of Gabby Petito’s van

It was a stark contrast to the neat and tidy image Ms Petito posted herself days later

Helen Elfer
Wednesday 22 September 2021 11:33
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911 call in Gabby Petito case released
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Footage showing Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie’s van in disarray, with backpacks and other belongings strewn across the floor, was captured on bodycam when the couple were stopped by police.

Images of the chaotic interior of the van were caught when police pulled the couple over outside Arches National Park near Moab on 12 August, several weeks before Ms Petito was reported missing by her family.

In the bodycam footage, Ms Petito was crying and the pair told police they had been arguing “more than usual”. Officers decided they were dealing with a “mental health crisis” rather than a domestic assault, and no charges were made.

The bodycam video gave a glimpse of bedding, bags and other clutter bundled in the back of the van as the police questioned Mr Laundrie outside.

The scene was in stark contrast to a video Ms Petito posted on YouTube a few days later, which showed  the van spick and and span with a neatly made bed and backpacks out of sight. It’s not known when she recorded the video.

Ms Petito had been documenting the couple’s “van life” and travels on the YouTube channel Nomadic Static.

In the bodycam footage, she told police that her fiancé Mr Laundrie was a “downer”, and didn’t support her efforts to make a success of her blog.

“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 said, visibly distressed, 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 FBI announced on Sunday that a body matching the description of Ms Petito had been recovered in the Teton National Park area, which is where Ms Petito’s family said she was when they last spoke with her. Mr Laundrie remains missing and has been named by police as a person of interest in Ms Petito’s case.

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