Gabby Petito’s parents are suing the family of Brian Laundrie, alleging the Laundries knew their son had killed the Petito’s daughter and tried to help him evade capture.
“Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie exhibited extreme and outrageous conduct which constitutes behavior, under the circumstances, which goes beyond all possible bounds of decency and is regarded as shocking, atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community,” the lawsuit alleges, according to Fox News. “As a direct and proximate result of the willfulness and maliciousness of Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie, Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt had been caused to suffer pain and suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, loss of capacity for enjoyment of life experienced in the past and to be experienced in the future.”
Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie made national headlines last summer, when a search was launched after Laundrie returned home to his family’s house in North Port, Florida, without Petito. The two had been traveling across the U.S. visiting national parks, with Petito documenting the trip on social media. The case intensified when police body cameras were released showing the couple after an argument, with Petito seen crying. Police separated the couple for the night.
“It is believed that on August 27, 2021, Brian Laundrie murdered Gabrielle Petito,” the Petito’s lawsuit says.
Court documents allege that Laundrie sent fake text messages between his cell phone and Petito’s “in an effort to hide the fact” that she was already dead. It is also believed that he used Petito’s phone to message her family, as the texts he sent did not sound like something she would say.
Steve Bertolino, the attorney representing the Laundries, told Fox News Digital that the lawsuit was “baseless.”
“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,” he told the outlet. “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.”
After Laundrie returned to his parents’ house, he disappeared, and a manhunt began. In October 2021, Laundrie’s remains were discovered in an area of Florida’s Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, The Daily Wire reported. In November, the autopsy results showed Laundrie committed suicide.
Near Laundrie’s body was a notebook, which the FBI revealed in January contained an admission that he had killed Gabby, The Daily Wire reported.
“Yesterday, the family of Gabrielle Petito met with the FBI at the Tampa Field Office as the investigation will be closed in the near future,” the FBI said in a statement.
“All logical investigative steps have been concluded in this case,” said FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider. “The investigation did not identify any other individuals other than Brian Laundrie directly involved in the tragic death of Gabby Petito. The FBI’s primary focus throughout the investigation was to bring justice to Gabby and her family. The public’s role in helping us in this endeavor was invaluable as the investigation was covered in the media around the world.”
The FBI added that the “notebook revealed written statements by Mr. Laundrie claiming responsibility for Ms. Petito’s death.”