Gabby Petito’s family called North Port police one day before she was reported missing, records show

Sarasota County

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NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) — Police in North Port, Florida were contacted by members of Gabby Petito’s family one day before she was officially reported missing in New York, according to records obtained by 8 On Your Side Thursday.

Meanwhile, police in Moab City, Utah released new body camera video that reveals more information about Petito’s fight with her fiancé Brian Laundrie on Aug. 12.

“Did he hit you?” the officer asked.

“I guess yeah, but I hit him first,” Petito replied.

Last month, a witness told police, “It was hard to tell if they were sort of play fighting, but from my point of view, something definitely didn’t seem right.”

“Well he like grabbed my face, I guess, um, he didn’t like hit me in the face, he didn’t like punch me or anything, he grabbed me with his nail and I guess it’s why like, I definitely have a cut because when I touch it it burns,” Petito said.

The new video comes as the City of Moab says it will launch an investigation into how police officers handled the domestic dispute between Laundrie and Petito. 

FBI agents were back at the Laundrie’s home in North Port Thursday.

The family’s attorney told 8 On Your Side, agents went to get more of Brian’s belongings that will help K-9’s in their search.

8 On Your Side also learned that almost three weeks ago, on Sept. 10, Gabby Petito’s family called the North Port Police Department hoping to file a missing persons report.

North Port police told the family they had to file the report where Gabby’s last known location was, and not in North Port, because of department policy and Florida law.

Incident reports from the North Port Police Department show three more calls connected to the Laundrie’s home on Sept. 11, the day Gabby’s mom filed the missing persons report in New York, and the day officers showed up to the Laundrie’s home and removed Petito’s van.

Despite scaled-back efforts, the search for Brian Laundrie presses on. Data from flight aware shows the Sarasota county sheriff’s office helicopter circling over a specific area at the Carlton Reserve Wednesday.

The FBI hasn’t released any new information about the search. Former FBI special agent Bryanna Fox says there’s a reason why.

“If they were to say we have reason to believe that Brian is located in a specific area and he sees that, it is easier for him to change his location, so for them to be able to be most effective at what they do, they have to keep information held back,” Fox said. “There’s so much happening behind the scenes.”

Laundrie remains the only person of interest in Gabby Petito’s homicide case.

The search for 23-year-old has been scaled down since the FBI took over, and is now being “targeted based on intelligence,” police said.

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