Unfortunately, the Moab police officers who spoke to Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie were unaware of key information that possibly would have changed the way they handled the situation. As reported by Fox News, they did not know that a witness had reported seeing Laundrie hitting Petito before they were pulled over. Melissa Hulls was also left wondering if she could have saved Petito by saying something different to her. “It’s hard not to second-guess myself, and wish I said more, or wish I had found the right words to make her believe that she deserved more,” she told Deseret News.
Rose Davis, a close friend of Petito, agreed with Hulls’ assessment of her relationship with Laundrie. She also described it as “toxic” and told People that he seemed to have “a jealousy problem.” “I just thought he was just controlling,” she said. Unfortunately, sometimes victims of domestic abuse don’t see the red flags. Natasha Adler, a SafeHouse Denver domestic violence advocate, explained to 9News how they often miss what seems so obvious to others. “They are gaslit by their partner and say ‘No, this is normal. This is what love looks like,'” she said.
If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.