GABBY PETITO INVESTIGATION

Lawsuit filed against Brian Laundrie’s parents by Gabby Petito’s parents to go to trial

Apr 14, 2022, 11:30 AM | Updated: Jun 29, 2022, 1:31 pm
FILE: Gabrielle Petito. (Instagram)...
FILE: Gabrielle Petito. (Instagram)
(Instagram)

SARATOSA COUNTY, Fla. — A lawsuit filed by the parents of Gabby Petito that claims Brian Laundrie told his parents he had killed Petito when he returned home alone from their trip will head to trial in 2023.

According to court documents filed in Saratosa County, Florida, the jury trial will begin on Aug. 14, 2023.

The Laundries had filed a motion to dismiss the case, but a Florida judge ruled in favor of the Petito family. A May 9 hearing that was scheduled to discuss the motion and the Petito family’s response has been canceled.

The lawsuit, filed March 11, contends that Laundrie told his parents on Aug. 28 that he had killed Petito, 22, his fiancee of about a year at the time.

“In doing so, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie acted with malice or great indifference to the rights of (Gabby’s parents) Joseph Petito and Nicole Schmidt,” the lawsuit claims, adding that this conduct was “shocking, atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community.”

Gabby Petito’s parents sue Brian Laundrie’s parents over killing

Petito was reported missing in September after she was seen traveling through Utah and Wyoming. Laundrie and Petito had been traveling across the country in a van since early July.

Petito’s body was found on Sept. 19 near Grand Teton National Park, and her disappearance and the subsequent search for Laundrie attracted national attention.

A Wyoming coroner ruled Petito died by strangulation, and Laundrie’s remains were found in a Florida nature preserve near his parents’ home in October.

The FBI said Laundrie wrote he was responsible for Petito’s death in his notebook, and a Florida medical examiner confirmed Laundrie died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

“All logical investigative steps have been concluded in this case,” FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said at the time. “The investigation did not identify any other individuals other than Brian Laundrie directly involved in the tragic death of Gabby Petito.”

The Laundries’ attorney, Steven Bertolino, told the Associated Press his clients were fully within their rights not to talk after Petito’s death and the death of their son. He also denied the lawsuit’s claims in general.

“This lawsuit does not change the fact that the Laundries had no obligation to speak to law enforcement or any third party including the Petito family,” Bertolino said. “This fundamental legal principle renders the Petitos’ claims to be baseless under the law.”

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Lawsuit filed against Brian Laundrie’s parents by Gabby Petito’s parents to go to trial