Brian Laundrie left Gabby Petito alone in Utah to empty storage unit in Florida days after huge fight, lawyer confirms

BRIAN Laundrie left fiance Gabby Petito by herself in a Utah hotel for multiple days after the two had a fight that ended in Utah police pulling them over in response to a domestic violence complaint.

Brian returned to his home in North Port, Florida on August 17 for five days before flying back to Utah and then returning home in the van alone again on September 1.


Meanwhile, Gabby stayed in a Salt Lake City motel, and the two checked out on August 24.

The purpose of the trip was to help his father clean out a storage unit containing he and Gabby's possessions, according to his sister Cassie Laundrie.

In an impromptu interview with a protester standing in front of her home, Cassie revealed she had seen her brother on August 17 during the short trip.

But she said she was unsure why Gabby had not returned with him.

"He was telling me where they were going next. I FaceTimed with Gabby and the kids on that trip," she added, referring to her kids.

The Laundrie family lawyer later confirmed her account, adding that Brian and Gabby wanted to empty out the locker to "extend their trip."

“Brian flew home to Tampa from SLC on 08/17 and returned to SLC on 08/23 to rejoin Gabby," Steve Bertolino said in a statement.

"To my knowledge Brian and Gabby paid for the flights as they were sharing expenses.

Read our Brian Laundrie live blog for the very latest news and updates…

"Brian flew home to obtain some items and empty and close the storage unit to save money as they contemplated extending the road trip.”

Gabby's mom Nichole Schmidt questioned the trip, as she claimed Brian's father had allowed the two to keep their belongings at the family home so they wouldn't have to pay for a storage unit, DailyMail.com reports.

CLOSE CALL

Brian's departure came five days after the pair was pulled over by Moab police responding to a call from a bystander who said he saw Brian "slapping" his fiance.

In an audio recording of the 911 call, the bystander tells an operator: "He proceeded to hit her, hopped in the car, and they drove off.

Widely circulated footage of the police stop shows Gabby sobbing to officersthat she is "in a bad mood" due to her OCD.

Another officer notices scratches on Brian's body, which Brian says Gabby caused.

The officers are also seen laughing and joking with Brian, and one can be heard saying, "we feel bad for you."

The call resulted in no charges, and the officers told the pair to sleep separately that night before sending them on their way.

One officer wrote afterwards in a report detailing the stop: "I do not believe the situation escalated to the level of a domestic assault as much as that of a mental health crisis.”

BITTER BREAK UP

The revelation of Brian's trip home has prompted online sleuths to wonder if he left because the two had split up after the fight.

One Reddit user wrote, "Thinking maybe they were fighting, needed some space, so this was a convenient excuse.

"She stays behind, maybe something happens with one of them while they’re apart, and things are even worse when he returns resulting in some kind of violent act or abandonment."

Another agreed: "Her family said they were moving all of gabbys things out of his parents house and into a storage unit.

"I think they broke up after the domestic fight on the 12th. He went home to clear out her stuff, they reconciled over the phone, he came back and killed her shortly after."

'COME FORWARD'

It come as Cassie begged her brother to "come forward" in an interview on Good Morning America.

"I really wish he had come to me first that day with the van because I don't know we'd be here," she said.

"I worry about him. I hope he's ok and then I'm angry and I don't know what to think.

"I'd tell my brother to just come forward and get us out of this horrible mess."



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