Crime

Gabby Petito's Parents Sue Laundrie's Parents Over Killing

Gabby Petito's Parents Sue Laundrie's Parents Over Killing

In a new Florida lawsuit, Gabby Petito's parents claim that Brian Laundrie told his parents he had killed their daughter before he committed suicide.

The new lawsuit was filed in Sarasota County Circuit Court last Thursday. It claims that Brian Laundrie told his parents he murdered Gabby, 22, on August 28.

Gabby was reported missing on September 11, and her body was found in a Wyoming national park eight days later.

Laundrie and Petito were engaged for about a year before killing her.

The FBI concluded that Petito died via strangulation and returned home alone from their road trip on September 1.

Laundrie fatally shot himself in the Carlton Reserve after one of the biggest national manhunts in the past decade.

The new lawsuit alleges that Christopher and Roberta Laundrie hid the information regarding the death of Gabby and that they knew she was dead while she was still a missing person.

The lawsuit states:

"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."

It adds that the Laundries were "making arrangements for him (Brian) to leave the country" and that the lawsuit claims, adding that this conduct was "shocking, atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community."

The lawsuit seeks damages of at least $30,000.

Steven Bertolino, the Laundrie family lawyer, gave a statement:

"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."

He concluded:

"This fundamental legal principle renders the Petitos' claims to be baseless under the law."

Petito and Laundrie were both from Blue Point, New York. In 2019, they moved in with his family in their Gulf Coast home in North Port, Florida.

The two took Petito's van and went on a road trip, but Gabby never returned.

The Petito lawsuit says that the two families had a "cordial relationship" until the trip.

During the trip, Petito documented the travels on social media. As the lawsuit adds, she had "hopes of becoming a travel influencer, a `van-lifer' and document her cross-country travels."

She was always in touch with her family, and the last message her mother received caused the Petito family great distress. The FBI claims Laundrie sent text messages from Petito's cellphone to her parents and others to pretend she was still alive.

He was charged with illegally using one of her credit cards before Brian's remains were found in October.