Moab officials have released the results of an investigation into the police department for its handling of a 911 report of domestic violence between Gabby Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie.
The report found officers Eric Pratt and Daniel Robbins made several mistakes, including not making an arrest, during the Aug. 12, 2021, traffic stop in the days before 22-year-old Petito disappeared, according to the Washington Examiner.
One of the responding officers wrote in his report that Petito was "struggling with her mental health" and "after evaluating the totality of the circumstances" determined the most appropriate course of action would be to help separate the two for the night "so they could reset their mental states without interference from one another," KUTV noted.
Capt. Brandon Ratcliffe of the Price City Police Department, who conducted the investigation, stated that the mistakes the officers made were unintentional.
"After reviewing all the information and speaking with the officers, I am confident and comfortable in stating the mistakes that were made were not made intentionally," Ratcliffe said. "The officers did not know what they were doing was wrong at the time and did not make the decision to benefit themselves in any way," Ratcliffe added. "They both believed at the time they were making the right decision based on the totality of the circumstances that were presented."
Ratcliffe made several recommendations in his report, including probation for Pratt and Robbins, the provision of additional domestic violence investigation training and legal training, and reviews of police policies and software "used to transfer files to reduce the risk of photographic evidence being lost in the future."
The city of Moab said in a statement Wednesday that it "intends to implement the report's recommendations."
The city further noted that the two officers "showed kindness, respect and empathy in their handling of this incident."
"As the Moab City Police Department continues its daily mission to serve our community, efforts are underway to provide additional resources and tools to assist them in addressing domestic violence incidents," the statement said. "Plans are in place to add a trained domestic violence specialist to oversee incidents investigated by Moab officers. We also will implement added and ongoing training and testing to ensure that the officers understand policies and procedures."
A month after the incident, Petitio's family reported her missing. She was later discovered dead in Grand Teton National Park. Authorities ruled her death a homicide. Laundrie disappeared and his body was later found in a Florida nature preserve. His death was reported as a suicide.
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