They Recommend Testing Agents Who Arrested Petito And Laundrie

Apparent human remains found in search of Laundrie 1:58

(CNN) — Two Moab, Utah, police officers who responded to a domestic violence call involving Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie last year are due to be placed on probation for what the city cites as “several errors.” unintentional” committed during the encounter, according to an independent investigator assigned by the city to review the incident.

Petito and Laundrie had been living in a van while on a long road trip that they were documenting on social media. Body camera video showed officers Eric Pratt and Daniel Robbins responding to a call on Aug. 12 in which Petito and Laundrie, who were engaged, admitted to having a fight in which Petito punched Laundrie in the face.

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During conversations recorded on body cameras, Officer Pratt stated that Petito should be booked in jail because, under Utah domestic violence statutes, she was considered the primary aggressor and Laundrie the victim. Both Petito and Laundrie object, and the agents eventually agree not to charge Petito as long as she and Laundrie spend the night apart.

In the independent investigative report, Capt. Brandon Ratcliffe of the Price City Police Department says the officers neglected their duty by not pressing charges. “I believe the officers responded to a domestic violence call and had probable cause that an act of domestic violence had been committed,” Ratcliffe said. “This should have meant an arrest was made, either by citation or custody.” However, Agent Ratcliffe pointed out that there was apparently only enough evidence to charge Petito in the matter, not Laundrie.

Petito and Laundrie then traveled to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming before Laundrie returned alone to his parents’ home in Florida on September 1. Petito’s remains were found in Wyoming in mid-September. Laundrie was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in a Florida nature reserve on October 20.

Laundrie was described as a “person of interest” by the FBI in Petito’s disappearance, but was never charged in his death.

The investigator, Captain Ratcliffe, said he could not speculate whether different actions on that day could have prevented Petito’s death. Would Gabby be alive today if this case had been handled differently? That is an impossible question to answer even though it is the answer that many people want to know, “says the report. “No one knows and will never know the answer to that question from anyone.”

In a statement, the Moab city government does not address any potential discipline for the two officers, but says it “intends to implement the report’s recommendations” on implementing new policies for the police department, including training. additional domestic violence and legal training for officers. “Based on the report’s findings, the City of Moab believes that our officers displayed courtesy, respect and empathy in handling this incident,” the city statement said.

In an interview for the investigation, Moab Officer Eric Pratt said that while he accepts he may have made mistakes in making the stop, he is still haunted by Petito’s death. “I care. I’m devastated about it,” he said. “I cared that day and I still care. I don’t think the public understands that we… I don’t know if they know we care. I don’t know if they know.”

CNN has reached out to Pratt and Robbins for a response.

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