Moab PD chief takes leave following outcry over department's handling of Petito incident

Bret Edge.jpg
Posted at 9:52 AM, Sep 28, 2021

MOAB, Utah — The Moab police chief has taken leave from his job as his department deals with questions over its handling of an incident involving the late Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie.

Police chief Bret Edge requested time off through the Family Medical Leave Act on Monday, according to Lisa Church, the city's communication manager.

It's not known if the request is connected to criticism the department has faced over the past week.


Moab police received a 911 call on Aug. 12 regarding a domestic dispute between Petito and Laundrie. In the call, a witness claimed to see Laundrie hitting Petito.

But when police made contact with the couple, an officer claimed Petito was the one who "began slapping" Laundrie, and that she was the aggressor during the dispute.

One of the Moab officers chose to separate the couple for the night by declaring the situation a mental health crisis instead of a domestic assault.

Petito's remains were found on Sept. 19 in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, while Laundrie remains missing.

Last week, the City of Moab announced it will investigate the police department's actions during the incident with Petito and Laundrie, with the request having come from an unidentified third party.

No word was given on when, or if, Edge will return to the department.