Gabby Petito's Parents Say Selfie Taken Before Calling Utah Police Proves Officers Should Have Done More

Gabby Petito
Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images

Newly released photos show Gabby Petito weeks before she was killed.

Newly released photos show Gabby Petito weeks before she was killed by her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie.

Petito's parents say the photos prove police should have done more.

In a selfie discovered on her cellphone after her death, a tearful Gabby Petito shows bruising to her face, with blood across her left eye and nose. The photo was time-stamped 4:37 p.m. on Aug. 12, 2021, moments before she called 911.

Responding police officers in Moab, Utah, had this exchange with Petito moments later:

Petito: "He like grabbed my face, like, I guess. He didn't like hit me in the face. He didn't like punch me in the face."

Officer: "Did he slap your face or what?"

Petito: "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."

Police say weeks later, Laundrie killed her.

Petito's parents are now suing the Moab Police Department saying their officers could have saved Petito's life had they properly followed Utah's laws on domestic abuse.

Petitio's mother, Nichole Schmidt, said, "Our daughter, Gabby, died as a result of intimate partner violence that could have and should have been identified by law enforcement using the lethality assessment. We believe that if the lethality assessment had been properly used in her situation, together with the recommended support and resources, Gabby would still be alive today."

Schmidt says her reason for the lawsuit is simple:  she doesn't want another victim of domestic violence to go unheard and possibly be killed because police aren't properly trained.

The Moab Police Department has denied any wrongdoing and says it will fight the lawsuit.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit

This story was originally published by CBS News on Feb. 7, 2023.