Nearly six months after law enforcement discovered the murdered body of Gabby Petito in Grand Teton National Park, her parents are suing Brian Laundrie’s parents for reportedly trying to help him escape.
A lawsuit obtained by TMZ shows that both Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt are suing Chris and Roberta Laundrie for an undisclosed amount. Petito’s parents are claiming that the Laundries knew more about the 22-year-old’s disappearance and helped Brian Laundrie cover it up. They are also claiming that the weeks they didn’t know about Gabby’s whereabouts while her boyfriend returned to his Florida home, caused them immense emotional distress.
At a Glance
- Gabby Petito’s parents are suing Chris and Roberta Laundrie for their alleged knowledge of Gabby’s murder
- The family is claiming emotional distress and filing for an undisclosed amount
- The Laundrie family attorney claims Brian’s parents were exercising their Constitutional right to not speak with authorities
- Laundrie family has not responded to lawsuit
However, the attorney for the Laundries, Steven Bertolino, spoke out about the claim.
“As I have maintained over the last several months, the Laundrie‘s have not publicly commented at my direction which is their right under the law. 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 Petito’s claims to be baseless under the law.”
A Timeline of Gabby’s Disappearance
Gabby Petito was murdered on or around August 27 by her boyfriend and travel companion Brian Laundrie. The two were on a road trip out west in their converted van. They were both enjoying the summer holidays and blogging about their adventures.
But Gabby went missing in late August following a domestic dispute between the couple. After his disappearance, Brian Laundrie used her phone to text the young woman’s parents. He then drove the couple’s van back to Florida alone. In the days after his return in September, the Laundrie family had no contact with the Petitos. This is despite their growing concern about Gabby.
Gabby Petito’s Family Believe the Laundrie’s Knew About Gabby’s Murder
After national attention sparked a massive search for the 22-year-old, a strangled Gabby Petito was discovered in a Wyoming park. The Petito’s lawsuit claims that Brian Laundrie admitted killing her to his family. And they were attempting to help him flee the country.
However, Brian left his Florida home in mid-September saying he was going camping in the Carlton Reserve. Authorities found his body there in October. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, along with a note admitting to killing his longtime girlfriend.
The Petito family strongly believes that the Laundrie family was aware of Brian’s actions and chose not to speak to the police with the information they had.
Additionally, the family claims they had a decent relationship with the Laundries prior to Gabby’s disappearance but that once events unfolded, they cut off all contact.
The Laundries have not commented about the lawsuit or if they had more information about Gabby’s death.