A Utah park ranger has expressed her regrets in not doing more upon interacting with Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie after pulling over the pair in response to a 911 call.
In an exclusive interview with Deseret News, park ranger Melissa Hulls has opened up about her interaction with Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie after she met them responding to a 911 call about an alleged domestic assault on August 12.
She talks about how the relationship between the two seemed to have all the markings of a “toxic” one, and that she has regrets about not doing more to intervene, given the fact that one month later on September 11, Petito’s family reported Gabby as missing, and her body was eventually found in a Wyoming national park.
“I can still hear her voice,” Hulls says in the interview. “She wasn’t just a face on the milk carton, she was real to me.”
“I was probably more candid with her than I should’ve been. I was imploring with her to reevaluate the relationship, asking her if she was happy in the relationship with him, and basically saying this was an opportunity for her to find another path, to make a change in her life.”
According to Hulls, Petito was visibly anxious about the idea of Laundrie.
Hulls says that although there are many regrets about what she said and did when in the presence of Petito, she wants to use this experience to learn and better herself in the future.
“This wasn’t a good day for anybody. We thought we were making the right decision when we left them,” said Hulls.
“It’s hard to think about now because I feel like I could’ve said more to help her. It’s hard not to second-guess myself, and wish I said more, or wish I had found the right words to make her believe that she deserved more.”
“There are so many circumstances where you wish it had gone a certain way, and if you get stuck with the ‘would have, could have, should have,’ you can’t do this job,” she continued.
“You got to learn from it and keep going, otherwise you’re not going to be helpful for the next Gabby.”
The FBI is still engaging in a large scale search for Laundrie, who remains missing.
Help is available.
If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.
If you’d like to speak to someone about domestic violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.
Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.