Gabby Petito’s parents filed a civil lawsuit Thursday against the parents of Brian Laundrie, claiming that the Laundries knew about Gabby’s murder, according to multiple reports.
Driving the news: In the lawsuit filing, Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt allege that Laundrie “advised his parents...that he had murdered Gabrielle Petito” on or around Aug. 28, 2021 — which was the day before Petito's death, per ABC 7 Chicago.
- Petito’s parents are seeking $30,000 in damages from Christopher and Roberta Laundrie.
Flashback: Petito and Laundrie spent the summer traveling on a cross-country road trip. But only Laundrie returned to their home in Florida on Sept. 1, 2021. It wasn’t until 10 days later that the Petito family reported their daughter missing. Laundrie went missing shortly after.
- Officials later found Petito’s body at a Wyoming national park. Officials said she died by strangulation.
- Laundrie’s body was found at a Florida reserve after weeks of searching.
- Details in Laundrie’s notebook found with his body suggested he claimed he killed her and he had died by suicide.
Details: In the new lawsuit, the Petito family alleges that the Laundrie family had planned and prepared for Laundrie to flee the United States.
- According to WPBF-TV, the plaintiffs said the Laundries “exhibited extreme and outrageous conduct which constitutes behavior, under the circumstances, which goes beyond all possible bunds of decency and is regarded as shocking, atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community.”
- The lawsuit reportedly says that Roberta Laundrie blocked Gabby’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, on her phone and on Facebook around Sept. 10, which stopped communication between the two families, per FOX-13 Seattle.
What they’re saying: “As I have maintained over the last several months, the Laundries have not publicly commented at my direction, which is their right under the law,” Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino said, per WPBF-TV. “Assuming everything the Petitos allege in their lawsuit is true, which we deny, 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. This fundamental legal principle renders the Petitos’ claims to be baseless under the law.”