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Police chief reveals how 6-year-old girl was found alive under staircase two years after she was reported missing

A child who was reported missing in 2019 when she was 4 years old was found hidden under a wooden staircase with her noncustodial mother, in a home officials had visited several times while investigating her disappearance, authorities said.

The child, Paislee Joann Shultis, now 6, was reported missing on July 13, 2019, from Cayuga Heights, a village on the outskirts of Ithaca, New York. At the time, she was believed to have been abducted by her noncustodial parents, Kimberly Cooper and Kirk Shultis Jr., police said in a news release.
Paislee and her mother were found Monday when investigators spotted “a pair of tiny feet” in a secret space under wooden steps leading to a basement.
“We should all wait until the facts come out,” said Carol K. Morgan, who represents Cooper. “Everyone should be patient before they draw their own conclusions.”
In the basement of the hoka shoes for women house, detectives searching for the girl found an apartment, including a bedroom with Paislee’s name on a wall, Saugerties Police Chief Joseph Sinagra told CNN on Wednesday. The bed appeared to have been slept in.
“Our officers asked, ‘Is she here?’ … And they denied that anybody was living in that house, in that particular room,” the chief said in an interview. “They said they had set the room up like that in the event that Paislee should ever return.”
Paislee Joann Shultis in a photo released by the Saugerties Police Department.

Throughout the 2.5-year investigation, authorities received several tips about the Saugerties-area home where the child was eventually located — but each time, the residents denied knowing anything about the girl’s whereabouts, the release said. Saugerties is about 160 miles east of Cayuga Heights.
“The quick answer: That’s our criminal justice system,” Sinagra said of his department’s inability to find the girl earlier, adding that Monday was the first time officers were able to obtain factual information — not hearsay — and secure a search warrant.
Sinagra said the homeowners were always “adversarial” with the officers, accusing police of “harassing” and “badgering” them and “insisting we should be out looking for Paislee.”
Sinagra told CNN on Wednesday that officers previously had been in the home roughly a dozen times but were not allowed in the basement or bedroom areas.
“We’re bothered by the fact that this went on for two years,” the hoka shoes chief said. “They lied to us for two years — including the father stating that he had no idea where his daughter was.”
On several occasions, investigators were allowed into the home without a warrant, but they were given “limited access” by Kirk Shultis Jr. and Kirk Shultis Sr., police said in the news release.
That changed Monday when police received information the child was being hidden and got a warrant for the home.
Officers arrived outside the house about 4 p.m to ensure that no one left. Police then executed the warrant a little after 8 p.m., the chief said. The homeowner denied knowing the girl’s whereabouts, saying he had not seen her since she was reported missing in 2019.
Police said the secret location underneath the stairs to the basement appeared to have been built to hide the girl.

Prince Harry seeks right to pay for UK police protection when in Britain

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, speak onstage during Global Citizen Live, New York, on September 25, 2021 in New York City.

Bow-and-arrow killings in Norway seen as an ‘act of terror’

KONGSBERG, Norway (AP) — The bow-and-arrow rampage by a man who killed five people in a small town near Norway’s capital appeared to be a terrorist act, authorities said Thursday, a bizarre and shocking attack in a Scandinavian country where violent crime is rare.

Police identified the attacker as Espen Andersen Braathen, a 37-year-old Danish citizen, who was arrested on the street Wednesday night about a half-hour after authorities were alerted.

They said he used the bow and arrow and possibly other weapons to randomly target people at a supermarket and other locations in Kongsberg, a town of about 26,000 where he lived.

Witnesses said their quiet neighborhood of wooden houses and birch trees was turned into a scene of terrifying cries and turmoil.

“The screaming was so intense and hoka shoes horrifying there was never any doubt something very serious was going on,” said Kurt Einar Voldseth, who had returned home from an errand when he heard the commotion. “I can only describe it as a ‘death scream,’ and it burned into my mind.”

Four women and a man between the ages of 50 and 70 were killed, and three other people were wounded, police said.

Andersen Braathen is being held on preliminary charges and will face a custody hearing Friday. Police said they believe he acted alone.

“The whole act appears to be an act of terror,” said Hans Sverre Sjoevold, head of Norway’s domestic intelligence service, known as the PST.

”We do not know what the motivation of the perpetrator is,” Sjoevold said in English. “We have to wait for the outcome of the investigation.”

He said the suspect was known to the PST, but he declined to elaborate. The agency said the terror threat level for Norway remained unchanged at “moderate.”

Regional Police Chief Ole B. Saeverud described the man as a Muslim convert and said there “earlier had been worries of the man having been radicalized,” but he did not elaborate or say why he was previously flagged or what authorities did in response.

Norwegian media reported the suspect had a conviction for burglary and drug possession, and last year a court granted a restraining order for him to stay away from his parents for six months after threatening to kill one of them.

Svane Mathiassen told broadcaster NRK the suspect will be examined by forensic psychiatric experts, which is “not unusual in such serious cases.”

Police were alerted to a man shooting arrows about 6:15 p.m. Regional prosecutor Ann Iren Svane Mathiassen, told The Associated Press that after his arrest, the attacker “clearly described what he had done. He admitted killing the five people.”

She said the bow and arrows were just part of his arsenal. Police have not said what else he used, hey dude but Voldseth told the AP that when he ran toward the sound of screams, he saw a woman being stabbed by a man with some kind of weapon.

Voldseth said he recognized the attacker, saying he lived nearby and “usually walks with his head down and headphones on.”

“I have only spoken to him a few times, but I have had the impression he might be a person with problems,” he said.

Mass killings are rare in low-crime Norway, and the attack recalled the country’s worst peacetime slaughter a decade ago, when a right-wing domestic extremist killed 77 people with a bomb, a rifle and a pistol. Memorials were held in July on the 10th anniversary of those slayings.

People have “experienced that their safe local environment suddenly became a dangerous place,” King Harald V said. “It shakes us all when horrible things happen near us, when you least expect it, in the middle of everyday life on the open street.”

New Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere called the attack “horrific.”

Dozens of people saw the killings. Erik Benum, who lives on the same road as the supermarket that was attacked, told AP he saw shop workers taking shelter in doorways.

“I saw them hiding in the corner. Then I went to see what was happening, and I saw the police moving in with a shield and rifles. It was a very strange sight,” Benum said.

Police, along with reinforcements from elsewhere, flooded into Kongsberg and blocked several roads. The blue lights of emergency vehicles and spotlights from a helicopter illuminated the scene.

On Thursday morning, the whole town was eerily quiet, Benum said.

“People are sad and shocked,” he said.

Flags were lowered to half-staff, and residents placed flowers, candles and stuffed animals around a makeshift memorial in a central square.

Mayor Kari Anne Sand described the last 24 hours as a “nightmare.”

“The town was attacked dr martens boots last night and five people died. I think most of the inhabitants are in quite a shock that such a thing could happen here. This is a quiet town, a quiet municipality,” she said, adding that health and social services officials are working to care for those who need assistance.

The main church in Kongsberg also was open for those needing comfort.

“I don’t think anyone expects to have these kinds of experiences. But nobody could imagine this could happen here in our little town,” the Rev. Reidar Aasboe told the AP.

Suspect arrested in fatal shooting of officer outside police department in Georgia

Investigators announced Sunday afternoon they had arrested the suspect wanted in connection with the killing of a central Georgia police officer who was shot outside his police department early Saturday, authorities said.

Dylan Harrison, 26, of Dudley, Georgia, was working his first shift as a part-time officer with the Alamo Police Department in Wheeler County when he was fatally shot around 1 a.m. Saturday, police said. Harrison was allegedly killed over an earlier confrontation that took place near the precinct a few hours prior, investigators said.

PHOTO: Authorities said Alamo Police Officer Dylan Harrison, seen here in an undated picture with his family, was fatally shot in the early morning hours of Oct. 9, 2021. (McRae-Helena Police Department)
PHOTO: Authorities said Alamo Police Officer Dylan Harrison, seen here in an undated picture with his family, was fatally shot in the early morning hours of Oct. 9, 2021. 

Damien Anthony Ferguson, 43, of Alamo, Georgia, was taken into custody Sunday afternoon following a nearly 38-hour manhunt, authorities said. He was arrested without incident while officers executed a search warrant of his residence, the Georgia Bureau clarks shoes uk of Investigation said during a news conference Sunday evening.

MORE: ‘Alarming’ increase in law enforcement officers killed this year

Lindsay Wilkes, the special agent in charge for the GBI, told reporters that Harrison was involved in an altercation at a parking lot on Circle K across the street from the precinct Friday night. Harrison allegedly saw a man who was an associate of Ferguson commit a traffic violation and made contact with him, according to Wilkes.

The officer allegedly used his Taser on the suspect when he did not comply with Harrison’s orders, Wilkes said.

“It is believed that the ambush-style attack on Officer Harrison was retaliation for the incident and the arrest of the man Friday night,” Wilkes said.

PHOTO: Damien Ferguson is apprehended by Georgia Department of Public Safety SWAT, Oct. 10, 2021, in an image shared to their Twitter account. (Georgia Department of Public Safety via Twitter)
PHOTO: Damien Ferguson is apprehended by Georgia Department of Public Safety SWAT, Oct. 10, 2021, in an image shared to their Twitter account. 

Ferguson was charged with murder and with aggravated stalking related to a previous domestic incident, according to the GBI. Attorney information wasn’t immediately available.

Ferguson served eight years in prison after being convicted in Wheeler County of charges including aggravated assault of a peace officer, Georgia Department of Corrections records show. He was released in 2006.

Before his arrest, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation issued a “blue alert,” hey dude shoes which indicates the search for a suspect who’s allegedly killed or injured an officer and hasn’t been apprehended, for Ferguson. An $18,500 reward was offered for information related to Ferguson’s arrest.

Harrison appears to be at least the fifth Georgia officer killed in the line of duty this year, according to Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks law enforcement deaths.

He was also a full-time agent with the Oconee Drug Task Force in Eastman, Georgia, and has been in law enforcement since 2018. He leaves behind his wife and 6-month-old baby.

In secret tapes, palm oil execs disclose corruption, brutality

Logs stacked for export in Vanimo, the capital of Sandaun province in northwestern Papua New Guinea. Palm oil companies typically make a first windfall on timber before sowing oil palm plantations.

The police drove into the village of Watwat in SUVs during a rainstorm. It was late on a July night in 2019, and they’d come through the rainforest, armed with guns and metal bars.

Men and teenage boys were dragged out of bed, beaten and thrown into the mud. Some were arrested, held for weeks and interrogated about vandalizing palm trees, according to an investigative report by the advocacy group Global Witness.

One Watwat resident told investigators that the SUVs were owned by one of the companies that runs the local plantation.

“The company has a lot of money,” she said. “They are able to give it to the police.”

Global Witness said it did not name hoka shoes the villager to protect her safety. The Washington Post did not speak to the woman directly, but learned details of her identity from two Global Witness investigators, who interviewed her.

Global Witness’s two-year investigation is a rare behind-the-scenes look at the corruption, labor abuses and destructive environmental practices in an industry that is clearing carbon-rich rainforests and emitting greenhouse gases at a rate that has become a growing concern for climate scientists. The world’s most common vegetable oil has spawned vast fortunes, while coming under scrutiny for its labor practices and environmental impact.

The report includes recordings of oil-palm managers detailing corruption and labor abuses to investigators posing as commodity traders. The investigation has already provoked a response from 17 corporations, some of which have pledged to remove the palm oil companies the advocacy group identified as their suppliers.

“A pattern of coercion and violence right across PNG has denied local people the traditional use of forests integral to their culture and livelihoods,” the authors of the report write. “Huge areas of tropical forests have been deforested, and much more remains at risk unless action is taken.”

The group’s undercover investigators taped an executive from a Papua New Guinea-based company called Tobar Investment Ltd. seemingly confirming the Watwat resident’s account of the police raid of the village, which came in response to the destruction of palm trees on the plantation.

Edward Lamur, the executive, told investigators in a secretly recorded online meeting that his company had approached police after vandalism to get them to send a message to local residents. He said that a close friend of his ran the “special operation police” and that he could call the officer “whenever we want assistance.”

“They did some bashing up,” he said. “They know we are owners now.”

The secretly recorded conversations with Lamur and others were broadcast Thursday in Britain as part of a story on Channel 4 News.

Lamur, who is a founding director of Tobar and a former deputy provincial administrator of East New Britain province, located on a large island off Papua New Guinea, did not respond to a request for comment.

The Global Witness report looks at Malaysian companies operating in Papua New Guinea, including East New Britain Resources Group (ENBR) and Rimbunan Hijau, that it says collectively have cleared tens of thousands of acres of forest in recent years. More than three quarters of the global product from hey dude oil palm trees comes from Indonesia and Malaysia and makes its way through supply chains into products familiar to any Western consumer, from companies such as Colgate-Palmolive, Kellogg’s and Nestlé. Many of the buyers have so-called No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation policies (NDPE), but Global Witness found some of the palm oil companies whose abuses they documented on the supply list for those three Western corporations, among others.

In a statement, Kellogg Co. called the allegations in the report “very concerning,” while confirming that three of its palm-oil suppliers had indirectly made purchases from ENBR. The company said it immediately contacted its suppliers when it learned about the allegations and that ENBR is no longer in its supply chain.

“Kellogg is committed to working with our suppliers to support the production of sustainable palm oil from sources that are environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable,” the company said in a statement. “Anything less is not acceptable.”

Nestlé said it confirmed that it has identified nine palm oil mills owned by Rimbunan Hijau in its supply chain but has not been connected to palm oil from ENBR since 2019. The company says it is investigating and will suspend any company shown to be responsible for deforestation or that does not have a policy to obtain consent from Indigenous people before developing. Nestlé said it requires companies to provide data to allow satellite monitoring that would detect deforestation.

“We take allegations of breaches to our Responsible Sourcing Standard very seriously,” the company said in a statement.

Colgate-Palmolive did not respond to a request for comment but told Global Witness that it has had supply chain connections to ENBR and Rimbunan Hijau and would add the group to its “internal grievance log” and investigate further.

As Malaysia came under increasing pressure in recent decades for clearing its forests faster than any country on Earth, dr martens boots some of its lumber companies began looking to the virgin rainforests of Papua New Guinea. The mostly unspoiled island country has since become one of the biggest exporters of tropical lumber. And in the wake of all the cutting, Malaysian palm oil companies moved in.

Impoverished Papua New Guinea sees its economic future in palm oil. By 2030, it plans to increase the size of its palm plantation tracts tenfold from the 2016 level of about 360,000 acres. But the country has also pledged a sharp reduction in carbon emissions from deforestation by the same year in a national commitment to the United Nations.

The Global Witness report suggests that the government may have a hard time reining in the well-connected palm oil companies. Tobar Investment Ltd., the local company behind the raid in Watwat, operates under a joint venture with ENBR.

Over a business dinner, the undercover investigators taped two managers from a subsidiary of ENBR bragging about corruption of government officials to obtain logging permits and land access. The managers also told the investigators that they had workers as young as 10 on their plantations.

“Sometimes we bend the rules just to make things happen,” said one manager, identified by Global Witness as Bernard Lolot. It’s illegal in Papua New Guinea to employ children under 16 for heavy labor.

At another dinner, Global Witness said, the Malaysian chief executive of the company, Eng Kwee Tan, detailed a scheme to evade import duties in India. He explained that the duties are higher for palm oil coming from Papua New Guinea than from Malaysia.

“We have to make it show like it come from Malaysia,” he said in English in another secretly recorded conversation that was also broadcast on Channel 4 along with the video of Lolot.

In a statement to The Washington Post, Tan did not deny the veracity of the recorded conversations but said the company had not engaged in bribery or tax evasion. He said the company “provides essential services such as aid posts, schools, bridges, roads, basic life skills training to local communities, clean drinking water, [and] electricity supply to the least developed districts, villages and communities within East New Britain Province.”

“Any purported claims of discussions and or responses from our Mr. Lolot is all hearsay and not true,” Tan said of the bribery allegations, emphasizing that the company did not employ Lolot to apply for logging permits, meet the minister of forestry or “pay bribes” to government officials.

“The report from GW is misleading and misrepresents the Company’s actual work, value, investment, and contribution of poverty elevation in the project area,” he said. “The allegations are based on secret recordings and unreliable information.”

Global Witness says that Rimbunan Hijau, whose name means ‘forever green,’ cleared nearly 81 square miles of coastal rainforest in New Britain province. The report also detailed a dozen work-related deaths on the company’s plantations between 2012 and 2020, some of which were not recorded in a government database that catalogues required incidents of workplace casualties that investigators examined..

Rimbunan Hijau did not respond to a request for comment from The Post. But the Global Witness report includes a statement that the company sent to one of its customers about the allegations, which emphasized the work the company had done to develop the local economy.

In the statement, the company said the allegations in the report were out of context and “without any real basis.” It called Global Witness “a group of economic vandals who do not care about the lives they destroy.”

While the companies stress the economic benefit to communities, the report details the cost for local people living in the areas being developed as palm oil plantations. The witness in Watwat, who recounted the raid by police in July 2019, was asked by Global Witness what good the development had done for the community.

“Only destruction,” she replied.

Woody Harrelson punched drunk man who took his picture, police say

Woody Harrelson was involved in a physical altercation in Washington, D.C., but investigators believe he was acting in “self-defense.”

Metropolitan Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck dr martens boots confirms to Yahoo Entertainment authorities responded to a “reported assault” on Wednesday night at the rooftop bar of the Watergate Hotel. The incident occurred shortly after 11 p.m. when a man, whom cops say was “intoxicated,” started taking photos of Harrelson and his daughter.

Actor Woody Harrelson involved in altercation at Washington, D.C. bar.
Actor Woody Harrelson involved in altercation at Washington, D.C. bar. 

The True Detective star went over and asked the individual to delete the pictures when “a dispute ensued.” The drunk man “lunged” at Harrelson who then hit the individual. There were multiple witnesses who backed up Harrelson’s story and the award-winning actor is not under investigation. Charges are pending on the aggressor, Sternbeck notes. The investigation remains ongoing.

Yahoo Entertainment reached out to hey dude Harrelson’s rep but did not immediately receive a response.

Harrelson is in town shooting the HBO series The White House Plumbers, which is about the Watergate scandal.

Will Smith explains why he disagrees with ‘defund the police’ sentiment

Along with Denzel Washington, Will Smith is one of the most famous movie cops in Hollywood thanks to his blockbuster Bad Boys franchise. In a wide-ranging new interview with GQ, the star of the upcoming Oscar hopeful King Richard touches on the complicated subject of real-world policing. Specifically, Smith addresses the “Defund the police” movement that gained traction after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody in May 2020, four months after the third Bad Boys installment, Bad Boys for Life, racked up $200 million at the U.S. box office. And much like Washington — who recently told Yahoo Entertainment that he nike store has the “utmost respect” for real-life cops — Smith sounds a more cautious note about the movement’s goals.

“I would love if we would just say ‘Defund the bad police,'” he remarks, likening it to the conflicting messaging over critical race theory. “It’s almost like I want, as Black Americans, for us to change our marketing for the new position we’re in. So ‘critical race theory,’ just call it ‘truth theory.’ The pendulum is swinging in our direction beautifully.”

“This is a difficult area to discuss, but I feel like the simplicity of Black Lives Matter was perfect,” Smith continues. “Anybody who tries to debate Black Lives Matter looks ridiculous. So when I talk about the marketing of our ideas, Black Lives Matter was perfection. From a standpoint of getting it done, Black Lives Matter gets it done. ‘Defund the police’ doesn’t get it done, no matter how good the ideas are. I’m not saying we shouldn’t defund the police. I’m saying, just don’t say that, because then people who would help you won’t.”

Smith and Martin Lawrence reprise their roles as Florida super-cops in Bad Boys for Life (Photo: Ben Rothstein / © Columbia Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection)
Smith and Martin Lawrence reprise their roles as Florida super-cops in Bad Boys for Life 

Amid the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, Smith spoke up about his own interactions with police officers as a young man in Philadelphia, indicating that he was called the “N” word on multiple occasions. “I got stopped frequently,” he remarked on the podcast, On 1 With Angela Rye. “So I understand what it’s like to be in those circumstances with the police.”

Speaking with GQ, Smith explains that for much of his career he placed being an entertainer over being a spokesperson for any particular cause. “In the early part of my career….I wanted to be a superhero. So I wanted to depict Black excellence alongside my white counterparts. nike sneakers I wanted to play roles that you would give to Tom Cruise.” Now that he’s in his so-called “f***-it 50s,” though, he’s ready to incorporate politics into his art. That includes his upcoming Apple TV+ movie, Emancipation, which is based on the true story of “Whipped Peter,” an escaped slave and subject of a famous 19th century photo that captured the horrors of slavery in a single image.

Previously, Smith says he deliberately “avoided” appearing in movies about slavery — including Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, where he was offered the title role that eventually went to Jamie Foxx — but feels that Emancipation offers something different. “This was one that was about love and the power of Black love,” Smith says of the Antoine Fuqua directed movie. “And that was something that I could rock with. We were going to make a story about how Black love makes us invincible.”

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 06: Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith attend Paramount Pictures' Premiere of
Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith attend the 2019 premiere of Gemini Man in Hollywood, California 

Speaking of love, Smith’s GQ interview also touches on the rumors surrounding his marriage to Jada Pinkett Smith, which is addressed in the actor’s upcoming memoir, Will, due in bookstores in November. “Jada never believed in conventional marriage,” ecco shoes the actor says, tacitly confirming that he and Pinkett Smith have a non-traditional union. “We have given each other trust and freedom, with the belief that everybody has to find their own way. And marriage for us can’t be a prison. And I don’t suggest our road for anybody. But the experiences that the freedoms that we’ve given one another and the unconditional support, to me, is the highest definition of love.”

Brian Laundrie’s family called the police after Dog the Bounty Hunter showed up on their property

Dog the Bounty Hunter stands in front of a brick wall
Dog the Bounty Hunter in 2019. 
  • Brian Laundrie’s parents called the police on Dog the Bounty Hunter over the weekend.
  • He has joined the search to find Laundrie and showed up at the family’s Florida home Saturday.
  • The North Port Police Department responded to a 911 call from the family on the matter, police said.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Brian Laundrie’s parents called the police on Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman after he showed up at their Florida home over the weekend, police confirmed to Insider Monday.

The North Port Police Department responded to a 911 call from Laundrie’s family on Saturday. The family said Chapman was on the property of their North Port home, hey dude Josh Taylor, a spokesman for the police department, said.

The reality-TV star, who has joined the search to find Laundrie, the fiancé of Gabby Petito, was seen knocking on the door of the Laundrie family home on Saturday.

“We did not tell him to leave,” Taylor told Insider in reference to Chapman. “He left on his own.”

In an interview with Fox News on Monday, Chapman said “it’s a shame” that Laundrie’s family “wouldn’t speak with us.”

“The police said we were welcome to knock on the door so we did,” Chapman said. “I wanted to tell the Laundries that our goal is to find Brian and bring him in alive.”

Laundrie, 23, has been the subject of a massive search since his parents reported him missing to police on September 17 – just two days after he was named a person of interest in the disappearance of the 22-year-old Petito.

His parents told police that Laundrie went out for a hike at Sarasota County’s Carlton Reserve with only a backpack three days earlier and never returned to their North Port home.

Authorities have been searching the 25,000-acre nature preserve for more than a week for Laundrie. But Taylor told Insider on Monday that search efforts there would be “scaled back” this week.

Petito’s body was found at a remote campsite in Wyoming on September 19, and her death was later ruled a homicide, according to a coroner’s initial findings.

Last week, a federal court in Wyoming issued an arrest warrant for Laundrie in connection with the case.

Chapman said in a “Fox & Friends” interview hoka shoes on Monday that he had gotten more than 1,000 tips since he joined the search for Laundrie.

“We’re going through all those leads right now,” Chapman said. “I would say within 48 hours, we probably will have a location where we start the tracking at.”

Laundrie and Petito set out on a cross-country road trip from New York on July 2, and Laundrie returned to Florida on September 1 with the van the couple was traveling in but without Petito.

Gabby Petito told police her ‘downer’ fiancé didn’t think she could make it as a travel influencer, according to bodycam footage

A still of police bodycam footage showing Gabby Petito outside a police car on August 12. She looks upset.
Gabby Petito outside a police car on August 12. MCPD
  • About a month before Gabby Petito was reported missing, she was questioned by police.
  • After Petito and her boyfriend were pulled over, she told officers he was a “downer.”
  • Petito said he didn’t believe she could start a career as a travel blogger.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

About a month before she was reported missing, nike sneakers Gabby Petito tearfully told police officers that her boyfriend didn’t believe in her dream. The 22-year-old, whose disappearance has caught the attention of people across the globe, was pulled over in Utah on August 12. She told officers that her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, was a “downer,” according to newly released bodycam footage.

“I just quit my job to travel across the country, and I’m trying to start a blog, a travel blog, so I’ve been building my website,” Petito can be heard saying in the recording that was released by Utah police on September 16. “I’ve been really stressed, and he doesn’t really believe that I can do any of it.”

The Moab City police officers who pulled Petito and Laundrie over had directed Petito to exit the couple’s van and stand several feet away to answer questions. Petito described quitting her job as a nutritionist to document her cross-country road trip with Laundrie, who police say is a “person of interest” in Petito’s disappearance.

Petito was reported missing on September 11, 10 days after Laundrie returned to North Port, Florida, in their van, without her. Laundrie has since refused to speak with authorities about Petito, despite police and her family pleading that he help find her.

Petito’s disappearance has attracted widespread attention in part because she documented the road trip on Instagram and YouTube, where she posted one “Van Life” travel vlog with Laundrie under the name Nomadic Statik.

On August 12, in Moab, officers considered charging Petito with domestic violence after she said that she slapped Laundrie during a dispute and hit him again while they were getting pulled over. The officers declined to charge Petito after she told them she had no intention to physically hurt or impair Laundrie. nike store Petito said Laundrie had stopped her from getting into the van earlier by telling her she needed to calm down first.

“I was trying to get him to stop telling me to calm down,” she says in the footage.

In a later police report, the officers described the incident as a “mental health crisis” and opted to have the couple separate for a night, with Petito staying in the van and Laundrie staying in a hotel room.

Petito and Laundrie had been together for more than two years at the time of her disappearance. They started dating in March 2019 and moved to Florida together, where Laundrie proposed in July 2020. Petito’s mother told outlets that her daughter and Laundrie called off their engagement, feeling they were too young to get married, before setting out in July on their road trip.

Van-Life Couple Got Into Physical Fight Days Before 22-Year-Old Vanished, Police Docs Reveal


A young woman who mysteriously vanished while road tripping across the U.S. with her fiancé got into a physical altercation with him two weeks before he returned to Florida without her, according to a police report obtained by The Daily Beast.

And while the couple’s online postings made the journey appear perfectly idyllic, the strain of having been together nonstop for months on end had in fact escalated tensions between the two, the document provided by the Moab City, Utah, Police Department reveals.

Brian Laundrie, 23, has been named a steve madden shoes person of interest in the baffling disappearance of 22-year-old Gabrielle Petito, police announced Wednesday. The two set off on a cross-country trek on July 2, from North Port, Florida. From there, they traveled to the Monument Rocks formation in Kansas, then headed for Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park. Next, the pair went to the Zion, Bryce, and Canyonlands national parks in Utah. Petito’s mother last spoke to Gabby on Aug. 25, while she and Laundrie were at the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

On Sept. 1, Laundrie returned to the Florida home he shared with his parents and Petito, after the couple’s cross-country journey in a van across the U.S. But Gabby, inexplicably, wasn’t anywhere to be found.

Ten days later, after not hearing from her for more than two weeks, Gabby’s family reported her missing. Police then went to Laundrie’s home and seized Gabby’s customized 2012 Ford Transit Connect van, which the couple was living out of as they visited several national parks. The vehicle was processed for evidence by local cops and FBI agents on Tuesday evening, according to the North Port, Florida, Police Department.

On Tuesday night, Moab City Police Chief Bret Edge released a statement revealing that officers on Aug. 12 responded to an “incident involving Brian Laundrie and Gabrielle Petito.” Neither of them was “the reporting party,” according to Edge.

“Officers conducted an investigation and determined that insufficient evidence existed to justify criminal charges,” the statement said.

However, previously unknown details revealed in the report itself paint a fuller picture of what happened that day.

“On 08/12/21, MCPD officers were dispatched to a report of a domestic problem that had taken place near the Moonflower Co-op,” the report explains. “It appeared that a male and female had left the scene traveling north on Main in a white Ford Transit van with a black ladder on the rear after the male and female had engaged in some sort of altercation. It wasn’t clear, but I believe it was reported the male had been observed to have assaulted the female.”

When cops showed up, witnesses said they had seen Laundrie attempting to “create distance by telling Gabby to go take a walk to calm down,” the report states. Laundrie reportedly grabbed Gabby’s face at one point after she began slapping him, but Laundrie did not strike Gabby, according to witnesses. One bystander told cops that Laundrie seemed to have locked Gabby out of her van, and that she appeared to be hitting him in the arm and trying to climb inside through the driver’s window. The fight had apparently erupted over dispute involving a phone, the report states.

Gabby, who said she feared Laundrie was going to leave her behind in Moab, suffered from “severe anxiety,” the pair told police, who categorized the incident as more of a “mental/emotional health ‘break’ than a domestic assault,” in their report. The two said they were “in ecco shoes love and engaged to be married and desperately didn’t wish to see anyone charged with a crime.”

The couple had been pulled over for speeding that same evening by another officer, who interviewed both of them separately. Gabby, who was “crying uncontrollably,” according to the report, said that she “suffers from [redacted] with [redacted]. She continued, because of her [redacted] and [redacted], combined with little arguments she and Brian had been having that day, she was struggling with her mental health, which led to the incident that was reported to law enforcement.”

Laundrie told the officer that he and Gabby “both suffer from [redacted], and although her [redacted] is more advanced than his, issues between the two had been building over the last few days. This in turn, caused them to argue more than usual,” the report states.

Laundrie explained that the two had been traveling together for the past four or five months, and that this had “created emotional strain between them and increased the number of arguments.”

The officer was able to get Laundrie a hotel room for the night, and Gabby kept the van. They agreed not to contact one another until the next morning, which would allow them to “reset their mental states.”

Neither one was seriously injured, and no charges were filed.

In what may or may not be a coincidence, a couple living out of their van in Moab, Kylen Schulte and Crystal Beck, went missing on Aug. 13—after complaining to friends about a “weirdo” who had set up camp right near them. Schulte—who worked at the Moonflower Co-op, where Gabby and Laundrie were seen fightingand Beck were found murdered a few days later. No suspects have been publicly identified and no arrests have been made in the case.

“As of now, Brian has not made himself available to be interviewed by investigators or has provided any helpful details,” the North Port PD said in a statement issued Wednesday, adding, “Brian Laundrie is a person of interest in this case.”

Laundrie will continue to stonewall investigators as they try desperately to solve the case, according to his lawyer.

In a statement provided to The Daily Beast following the North Port PD’s announcement, Laundrie’s Long Island, New York-based lawyer, nike sneakers Steven Bertolino, said that the “formality” of being named a person of interest hasn’t really changed anything about Laundrie’s situation, since he was already the focus of detectives. And he’s still not planning to say a word.

“Many people are wondering why Mr. Laundrie would not make a statement or speak with law enforcement in the face of Ms. Petito’s absence,” Bertolino said in an email. “In my experience, intimate partners are often the first person law enforcement focuses their attention on in cases like this and the warning that ‘any statement made will be used against you’ is true, regardless of whether my client had anything to do with Ms. Petito’s disappearance. As such, on the advice of counsel Mr. Laundrie is not speaking on this matter.”

Laundrie and his parents, Roberta and Christopher, who own a company that sells and services commercial juicing equipment, were unable to be reached.

Laundrie’s refusal to cooperate has been incredibly frustrating for Gabby’s father, Joe Petito, who moved to Florida in June, partly so he could be closer to his daughter.

“Get out of the house, get into the FBI offices, and start answering some questions,” Petito told The Daily Beast on Wednesday. “Do your job as a fiancé, as most would do.”

Petito said he was reluctant to speak negatively of Laundrie in the media because Laundrie is key to finding Gabby.

“My biggest fear is that people overpressure this guy and he hurts himself and then he can’t speak anymore—and then I’ll never find my daughter,” said Petito. “Focus on her, and keep it up until we get her home. I’m begging you of that. No one gives two shits about Brian until we get Gabby home.”

Petito hasn’t heard from Laundrie or his parents, and said he isn’t “anticipating anything” from them.

“As a father, I can imagine the pain and suffering Gabby’s family is going through,” North Port Police Chief Todd Garrison said in a statement. “We are pleading with anyone, including Brian, to share information with us on her whereabouts in the past few weeks. The lack of information from Brian is hindering this investigation. The answers will eventually come out. We will help find Gabby and we will help find anyone who may be involved in her disappearance.”

The Laundrie family appears to keep a low profile in their North Port, Florida, neighborhood. Donna Lear, a homeowner who lives a few doors away from the Laundries, said she and her husband have “never seen” Brian Laundrie or his parents in all the years they have resided there. Another neighbor, Andre Obradovich, also said he hasn’t had any interactions with the Laundrie family and was shocked to hear that the young man whose face has been plastered all over the news in recent days is holed up right down the street.

Laundrie’s Instagram profile describes him as a “nature enthusiast” and tells visitors, “Take a hike everyday.”

“Bug bites are better than being brainwashed by the media,” it says.

In a post from last October, Laundrie captioned a picture of himself kissing Gabby: “Never got around to posting these! I’d die just to watch all of our memories on repeat, never loved anyone as much as this girl💕”

Another so-called van-lifer who encountered Gabby and Laundrie while traveling near Moab, Utah, said he never saw any signs of trouble between the two.

“They were holding hands, they were ecstatic about their rebuild,” Jaye Foster told The Daily Beast. “That’s what I find so weird about the whole situation, is that they were both really cool. There didn’t seem to be anything wrong whatsoever.”

The pair said they were headed to Yellowstone next, according to Foster.

“She was such a cool person,” he said. “He was too. That’s what’s freaking me out. They seemed totally fine. What sucks is that I couldn’t see him doing anything like that. It’s crazy as hell. It really, really is.”