The parents of Gabby Petito, who was allegedly murdered by her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, are suing Steven Bertolino, the attorney of Laundrie’s parents, claiming he knew their daughter was dead when he publicly stated that the Laundrie family hoped “that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is reunited with her family.”
On July 2, 2021, Gabby Petito left New York with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie. They took a road trip to Colorado and Utah. On August 12, a park ranger from Utah’s Arches National Park warned Gabby Petito that her relationship with her fiancé Brian Laundrie appeared “toxic” and urged her to “find another path.” The last time Petito was seen alive was on August 27 at a Jackson Hole, Wyoming restaurant. On August 30, a text was sent from her phone: “No service in Yosemite.” On September 19 human remains matching her description were found at Spread Creek campground. The FBI confirmed that the body was hers and they ruled the cause of death to be a homicide.
But prior to the discovery of Gabby Petito’s body, on September 14, 2021, Bertolino released a statement in which he said:
This is understandably an extremely difficult time for both the Petito family and the Laundrie family. It is our understanding that a search has been organized for Miss Petito in or near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. On behalf of the Laundrie family it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is re-united with her family. On the advice of counsel the Laundrie family is remaining in the background at this juncture and will have no further comment.
NEW: Statement from Attorney Steven Bertolino for the family of Brian Laundrie, boyfriend of missing 22 year old Gabby Petito via @WFLAAllyson https://t.co/Y7tgn8mDd5 pic.twitter.com/AeorQEGWnp
— Justin Schecker (@WFLAJustin) September 14, 2021
The new lawsuit claims of Laundrie’s parents, “When they did choose to speak, it was through statements issued by Steven Bertolino. It is believed that at the time the September 14, 2021 statement was issued, the Laundries and Steven Bertolino knew that Gabby Petito was deceased, and that under those circumstances, the statement was insensitive, cold-hearted and outrageous.”
In June 2022, Bertolino told NewsNation, “What I knew, or what Chris and Roberta knew, we did not have to disclose, to any third party, and specifically to law enforcement, or the Petito family. … I did everything the right way. We have no regrets. The parents did everything the right way, and they have no regrets.”