Gabby Petito police video reveals 'super scary' sign Brian Laundrie wanted to 'shut her up', body language expert says
POLICE bodycam footage reveals a "scary sign" that Brian Laundrie “wanted to shut his fiancée Gabby Petito up”, a body language expert says.
The vlogger, 22, and Laundrie, 23, were quizzed by cops after witnesses reported an incident involving the couple on August 12 in Moab, Utah.
Footage shows a tearful Gabby recalling a clash that she and her fiancé had outside the Moonflower Cafe.
She said that their morning had been “stressful” and explained to cops that she had been apologizing to Laundrie for her OCD.
Gabby alleged that Laundrie had grabbed her face, left a “burning” gash on her cheek and red marks on her arm as cops notice some bruises.
She said: "Well, he like grabbed me, like, with his nail, and I guess that's why it hurts. I definitely have a cut. Like, I can feel it."
Gabby alleged that Laundrie had told her to shut up after appearing to admit that she hit him first.
Body language expert Patti Wood said: “The first super scary indicator is where she puts her hand up to show what her fiancé allegedly did to her.
“As she’s doing that, I’m thinking this is somebody that wants to shut her up because it doesn’t quite go over her mouth.”
Wood explained that Gabby appears “frozen” in the cop car as her feet stay forward.
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She said: “She’s in distress, crying or on the edge of tears. Gabby is ‘talk crying’. This shows she is feeling vulnerable and scared and wants to protect herself.
“There’s a lack of breath and calmness in her voice. It’s a signal of stress and fear. She is the one that looks scared.”
Wood said Gabby gives a "cleansing wipe" as she rubs her hands on her thighs while explaining that "she's not trying to be mean".
Gabby told police: “I was apologizing to him and saying, ‘I’m sorry that I’m so mean’.”
Wood said Gabby is trying to wipe away what has been perceived as “meanness”.
'I WAS APOLOGIZING'
The expert warned that the vlogger may have been distressed because she was being questioned at the roadside where others could potentially see.
During the encounter with the officers, Gabby appears to slip her hair back as a “comfort cue”.
Wood said it could mean that the vlogger wants to look good for the officers and wants the situation to be “better than it looks”.
The body language expert also noted that Gabby appeared to stroke her neck while being interrogated.
Wood said: “It’s a comfort cue, but I do think it’s a mimicking action of where she felt vulnerable on her neck.
“If people touch around the carotid artery – the vulnerable part of the neck – that typically indicates a great fear and vulnerability of safety.
“She’s comfort cuing on a part of the body that if it was hurt, it might mean death. She was giving the indication that as she was apologizing, she might've been fearing for her life.”
The footage also showed her acute anxiety at the prospect of being separated from her fiancé as cops said they would check Laundrie into a hotel, while Gabby would remain with her van.
While Gabby appeared distressed, Laundrie seemed calm throughout as he told cops his story.
He told the police: "She (Gabby) gets really worked up, and when she does she swings and she had her cell phone in her hand. So I was just trying to push her away."
Laundrie claimed that Gabby had attacked him, alleging that she scratched his face and arm.
He told the police: “She had her phone and was trying to get the keys from me. So, I was backing away – I know I shouldn’t have pushed her but I was just trying to push her away to go ‘Let’s take a minute. Step back and breathe.”
Wood said that Laundrie delivered his account as if it was “the most normal thing in the entire world”.
The expert noted that the 23-year-old is “animated” and formed a “friendship” with the police officers.
It comes as a series of clues potentially reveal that Gabby may have been terrified of her fiancé Laundrie.
During the encounter with police in Utah, park ranger Mellisa Hulls warned the vlogger that her relationship seemed “toxic”, the Deseret News reports.
Hulls told the outlet that she “implored” Gabby to re-evaluate the relationship as she asked the vlogger if she was happy.
Gabby's mom Nichole Schmidt was "concerned" something was wrong after receiving a text message.
The vlogger's last known contact with her family was on August 25 when she and Laundrie reached Grand Teton National Park.
But, during the trip, Gabby phoned her mom several times and sent many messages.
A text from August 27 reads: "Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls.”
Schmidt said Gabby never called her granddad "Stan".
Online sleuths claimed "Stan" is a codeword for danger.
Some social media users alleged that Stan is a reference to the Eminem song in which a male partner tied up his pregnant girlfriend before killing her.
Gabby was reported missing by her family on September 11 – weeks after the incident in Utah.
Cops and FBI detectives discovered her remains on September 19 and a preliminary autopsy revealed the manner of her death to be a homicide.
Meanwhile, Laundrie was declared a “person of interest” by police investigating the probe but he was not named a suspect.
FBI agents issued an arrest warrant, accusing the fugitive of swiping a debit card between August 31 and September 1.
Laundrie returned to Florida alone on September 1 without Gabby and cops seized the couple’s camper van days later.
He was reported missing on September 17 – days after allegedly telling his parents that he was going for a hike in the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve in Sarasota.
Cops continue to scour the reserve but haven’t found Laundrie while reality TV star Dog the Bounty Hunter has also joined the search efforts.
There have been alleged sightings of Laundrie in other parts of Florida, Alabama, and Mexico but most potential leads have been false and led to dead ends.
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