From the posts on social media, Gabby Petito’s final days looked idyllic. But after she was reported missing, accounts surfaced of rising conflict between the couple.
Petito called her mom regularly, and those conversations appeared to reveal there was “more and more tension” in Petito’s relationship, according to a police affidavit for a search warrant of an external hard drive found in the couple’s van.
On Aug. 27, an “odd text” from Petito worried her mother that something was wrong, according to a search warrant.
“Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls,” the message read, according to the affidavit. Stan was a reference to Petito’s grandfather, who her mother said Petito never referred to that way, according to the affidavit.
Along their travels, the couple was stopped by police after a 911 caller told dispatchers Aug. 12 he saw a man hitting a woman, according to audio provided by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office in Moab, Utah.
“We drove by and the gentleman was slapping the girl,” the caller said. “Then we stopped. They ran up and down the sidewalk. He proceeded to hit her, hopped in the car and they drove off.”
CNN obtained dispatch audio recordings from the Grand County Sheriff’s office last month that shed more light on what Moab police were told about “some sort of altercation.”
And on Aug. 27, a witness described a “commotion” as they were leaving the Merry Piglets Tex-Mex restaurant in Jackson, Wyoming.
Petito was in tears, and Laundrie was visibly angry, going in and out of the restaurant several times, showing anger toward the staff around the hostess stand, witness Nina Angelo said. The couple’s waitress was also visibly shaken by the incident, said Angelo, who told CNN she did not see any violence or physical altercation between Petito and Laundrie.
A manager at Merry Piglets, who declined to give her name, did see “an incident” at the restaurant and called the FBI, she told CNN. The manager declined to describe what happened and said the restaurant did not have surveillance video of the incident.