New details about ‘incident’ between Gabby Petito, Brian Laundrie at Wyoming restaurant

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This image from police camera video provided by The Moab Police Department shows Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie talking to a police officer near the entrance to Arches National Park on Aug. 12, 2021. (Courtesy: Moab Police Dept. via AP)

(NEXSTAR) — A restaurant in Wyoming confirmed Wednesday that they saw Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie come in on Aug. 27, the same day that Petito sent an “odd” text message to her mother that sent up red flags, police said.

The Merry Piglets restaurant in Jackson confirmed in an Instagram post that they spotted the couple and have been in contact with the FBI since.

It’s not entirely clear what happened at the Tex-Mex eatery since there is no video from that day, but the manager told CNN that there was an unspecified “incident” with the couple.

Diner recalls commotion

On Wednesday, a woman named Nina Angelo, of New Orleans, told the network that she and her boyfriend witnessed a “commotion” between Petito and Laundrie as they left the restaurant. Angelo told Fox News that they were in town for a wedding and that they watched a “full-blown incident” involving the couple.

Angelo said that Laundrie’s body language seemed “aggressive,” and that she thought he was arguing with the Merry Piglets employees, who she noted was all-female, about the bill or about money. She remembered him walking in and out of the restaurant several times.

According to Newsweek, Angelo described what happened in detail:

“They like left abruptly, and [Petito] was standing on the sidewalk crying and [Laundrie] walked back in and was, like, screaming at the hostess and then walked back out … And then he walked back in, like, four more times to talk to the manager and to, like, tell the hostess off.”

Angelo told ABC it almost appeared like the couple were getting kicked out of the restaurant, and the dispute may not have been between them, but it upset Gabby so much she abruptly left the restaurant crying.

She added that Petito “seemed kind of embarrassed” and appeared to walk back into Merry Piglets at one point to try to get Laundrie to leave. “I think she was being apologetic towards the restaurant staff for his behavior,” Angelo said, adding that she felt for Petito and also remembered being “freaked out” by Laundrie’s actions.

‘Odd’ text message

The same day of the alleged incident at Merry Piglets, Petito sent a text message to her mother that raised red flags, according to a police warrant.

Petito’s mother received an “odd” text on Aug. 27 that read, “Can you help Stan, I just keep getting his voicemails and missed calls,” according to the North Port, Florida police warrant. “Stan” refers to Petito’s grandfather, but her mother, Nicole Schmidt, told police that Gabby never referred to him by his first name.

“The mother was concerned that something was wrong with her daughter” after getting the message, according to the warrant.

Petito found dead

The 22-year-old Petito, of Long Island, New York vanished while on a cross-country trip with Laundrie, her boyfriend, for a YouTube vlog called “VAN LIFE.” On Sept. 11, ten days after Laundrie returned alone with Petito’s van to his parents’ Florida home, she was reported missing.

Prior to the incident at the Merry Piglets, Petito was last seen checking out of a Fairfield Inn and Suites located less than 700 feet from the FBI Salt Lake City office in Utah.

On September 19, law enforcement agents found her body near a campsite along the eastern border of Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park.

The search for Laundrie continues after the 23-year-old’s attorney reported him missing Sept. 17. The FBI announced Thursday that an arrest warrant has been issued for Laundrie who is wanted for “use of unauthorized access device” to withdraw or spend over $1,000 using a debit card, but authorities did not specify whose card it was.

“While this warrant allows law enforcement to arrest Mr. Laundrie, the FBI and our partners across the country continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of Ms. Petito’s homicide,” the FBI said in a news release. “We urge individuals with knowledge of Mr. Laundrie’s role in this matter or his current whereabouts to contact the FBI.”

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