August 27th marks the one-year anniversary since the tragic death of Gabby Petito.
The 22-year-old was murdered by her fiancé Brian Laundrie in a Wyoming National Forest last year.
Two weeks prior to her murder, the couple was pulled over by police officers in Moab, Utah, following an anonymous call about a domestic violence situation.
Incriminating evidence of their tumultuous relationship was caught on a police officer’s body camera.
While the couple was traveling through Moab, Laundrie was behind the wheel and driving her conversion van erratically.
Responding Utah Officer Gets Promoted Following Gabby Petito’s Death
On August 12, a domestic call involving the couple was made to Moab authorities, and the couple was pulled over. The call resulted in no arrests despite Utah state law mandating an arrest or citation in domestic violence incidents.
Police body camera footage show a tearful and distraught Gabby in the back of a squad car while Laundrie joked around with cops by their conversion van.
Fox News Digital first reported the domestic violence call which included allegations that Laundrie slapped and hit Gabby; however, both denied versions of the events to responding officers.
Laundrie had a cut on his cheek and Gabby had marks on her face.
An independent investigation into the August 12 incident was conducted and found “unintentional mistakes.”
The outside investigation also offered a number of recommendations on how the Moab police department should move forward.
Unintentional Mistakes Were Made During The Domestic Violence Call
The investigation includes interviews with both officers involved and the city’s acting chief of police and looked into the incident reports, body cam videos and other evidence.
Despite these “unintentional mistakes,” one of the responding officers has been promoted.
Eric Pratt was the senior officer on the scene during the August 2021 call, and was recently promoted to detective.
The Moab police department shared a photo to its Facebook page last week showing Pratt at an event with “Detective E. Pratt” embroidered into his shirt.
Petito’s parents have filed a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit against Utah police.
Pratt is among the handful of officers named in the lawsuit.
According to NBC News, the Petito-Schmidt families filed the lawsuit against Moab City Police Department, its then-Chief Bret Edge, ex–Assistant Chief Braydon Palmer, and Officers Eric Pratt and Daniel Robbins.
While Gabby was in the back of the cop car, she explained that she was the first to hit Laundrie and he retaliated by grabbing her face.
Neither Gabby nor Laundrie wanted to press charges, but they were required to spend the night apart after the altercation.
At the time of the call, Pratt can be seen on police body camera footage asking officer Daniel Robins, “How far do you want to go with this?”
Officer Pratt Worried Domestic Violence Could Escalate To Death
“You know why the domestic assault code is there. It’s there to protect people,” Pratt continued. “The reason why they don’t give us discretion on these things is because too many times women at risk want to go back to their abuser, they just wanted him to stop, they don’t want to have to be separated, they don’t want him to be charged, they don’t want him to go to jail — and then they end up getting worse and worse treatment and end up getting killed.”
The officers characterized the incident as a “mental break” and not domestic violence, and split the couple up for the night.