The disappearance of Gabby Petito in late August of 2021 received nationwide coverage, so much so that it led some to wonder why she was getting so much more attention than prior missing persons had. Almost a month after her family reported her missing, medical examiners revealed the grim result of her autopsy: strangulation. Petito’s fiancé, Brian Laundrie, became the prime suspect. Soon enough, stories behind their seemingly pictureperfect relationship shed light on what else may have been going on behind closed doors. One of Gabby’s friends reported that Brian was extremely jealous and at times controlling over her. She gave examples such as one time when Brian stole Gabby’s ID because he did not want her going out. Another time, Brian made Gabby stop sharing her location with her friends. This controlling behavior can also be seen in the bodycam video when Gabby told the officer that she was worried that he would leave without her in their van.
This post was originally published on the Cardozo Journal of Equal Rights and Social Justice website on November 15, 2021. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.
Appel, Bailey, "Coercive Control: Crucial Legal Changes and Police Training" (2021). ERSJ Blog. 10.