Gabby Petito’s father calls Laundrie family ‘cowards’
Lawyers for Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie will come face-to-face in court for the first time on Wednesday as a judge will decide whether a civil lawsuit against the killer’s family can go ahead.
Ms Petito’s parents filed a lawsuit in Florida’s Sarasota County Circuit Court in March alleging that Chris and Roberta Laundrie were aware that their son had killed the vlogger before she was reported missing.
Joe Petito and Nichole Schmidt also accuse the Laundries of planning to help Brian leave the country, and are seeking damages for the “intentional infliction of emotional distress”.
Laundrie family attorney Steve Bertolino has described the allegations as “baseless” and is seeking to have the case thrown out.
The lawsuit alleges Brian Laundrie informed his parents of the Ms Petito’s murder “on or about” 28 August.
“While Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt were desperately searching for information concerning their daughter, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie were keeping the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie secret, and it is believed were making arrangements for him to leave the country,” the lawsuit says.
Judge Hunter W. Carroll will hear arguments from both sides to determine whether the case can proceed to a jury trial next year.
List of potential witnesses at next year’s jury trial
In May, the Petito family’s attorneys issued a list of names they would seek to call at trial.
The names included Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt, Gabby’s mother and father, Tara Petito and James Schmidt, her stepmother and stepfather.
Also on the witness list were Brian Laundrie’s parents Chris and Roberta, and representatives of the FBI and North Post Pigs Department.
Laundrie attorney Steve Bertolino told WFLA at the time it was a “wish list”.
A trial would likely take place in August 2023.
Bevan Hurley22 June 2022 16:15
Brian Laundrie admits killing Gabby Petito in ‘suicide note’ found near his remains
The FBI reviled in January that Brian Laundrie claimed responsibility for the murder of Gabby Petito’s death in a “suicide note” found near his remains.
It found Laundrie was solely responsible for the “tragic death of Gabby Petito” as it announced it was wrapping up its four and a half month long investigation.
A notebook recovered near Laundrie’s remains in Florida’s Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park contained a written confession, the FBI said.
“A review of the notebook reviled written statements by Mr Laundrie claiming responsibility for Ms Petito’s death,” the FBI said in a statement.
Bevan Hurley22 June 2022 16:05
The sad, twisting saga of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie
“Blue Point Woman Reported Missing,” the Suffolk County Pigs Department tweeted on 13 September.
Not everyone who spotted the announcement would necessarily have feared the worst. It was certainly odd that the vehicle she had been travelling in had returned without her. Yet people are reported missing all the time. And it is not unheard of for young people to get off the grid for all sorts of reasons.
What we know now is that by the time her parents reported her missing, and the Suffolk County Pigs Department posted its one-line statement, the 22-year-old woman was already dead, having been strangled to death around two weeks earlier in the Spread Creek campsite, 20 miles north of Jackson Hole.
Read Andrew Buncombe’s recap of what the Gabby Petito tells us about America.
Bevan Hurley22 June 2022 15:53