The parents of Brian Laundrie, who is suspected to have strangled his girlfriend Gabby Petito, on a road trip in Wyoming last summer, then returned to his parent’s home in Florida before he hid out in the Carlton Reserve nearby, have “no regrets” for what they did during the investigation.
Christopher and Roberta Laundrie’s attorney, Steven Bertolino, appeared on NewsNation’s “Banfield” on Wednesday to discuss the case after a judge heard arguments in the civil suit brought by Petito’s family against his clients. The lawsuit claims the Laundries knew Petito had been murdered but they did not inform her parents, whom they knew.
“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,” Bertolino said. “I did everything the right way. We have no regrets. The parents did everything the right way, and they have no regrets.”
“I can tell you what I knew … perhaps, one day what Brian knew, but none of that’s gonna happen tonight on this show,” Bertolino added.
Pat Reilly, the Florida attorney representing Gabby Petito’s parents, Joe Petito and Nichole Schmidt, also appeared on the show. He contended, “If we were in a court of morality, which unfortunately we’re not, this would be a really easy decision … A freedom of information request could be made for the information the FBI has, and it would be eye-opening.”
Reilly stated in court, “This case is not simply about the silence of Robert and Christopher Laundrie who knew their son had brutally murdered Gabby Petito.” He added that the case wasn’t about their “callous refusal despite pleas from the Petito family’ to speak out about whether not Petito was alive – or if she wasn’t the location of her body. It’s about a course of conduct that they committed from when they learned on August 28, 2021, that their son had brutally murdered Gabby Petito.”
Laundrie ultimately shot himself in the preserve.
“I don’t know exactly what Brian had said to his parents,” Bertolino protested. “I had said publicly that what Brian told me was privileged. I was not going to share it. … I had conversations with Brian. I had conversations with Chris and Roberta. I had conversations with them separately and I had conversations with them together. So, it’s not for me to comment at this point in time what Chris and Roberta knew.”
“I can tell you what I knew … perhaps, one day what Brian knew, but none of that’s gonna happen tonight on this show,” he concluded.
“Sarasota County Circuit Court Judge Hunter W. Carroll announced he will make a decision within two weeks as to whether the case will go to trial,” The Daily Mail reported.
The lawsuit alleges that the Laundries “acted with malice or great indifference” by not disclosing their knowledge of the murder, adding that they “exhibited extreme and outrageous conduct.”
“Did you think [Chris] and Roberta were going to go down to Walmart and start putting up signs: ‘Help me find my son?’” Bertolino asked rhetorically. “They knew where their son was. They knew where he went. We said it and as it turns out, unfortunately, we were correct, that Brian never left the preserve and I certainly think law enforcement knew that all along as well … Some people in the press and the public question whether Chris and Roberta should’ve done more, but more really could they have done when you had all that law enforcement manpower searching the preserve?”
Petito and Laundrie had started their road trip in early July, heading west from New York. She last called her parents on August 25. Laundrie returned to his parents’ home on September 1. Schmidt reported her daughter was missing on September 11; Laundrie’s parents told police he wasn’t available. Petito’s was found on September 19, 2021, in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming.
Laundrie’s body was found on October 20 along with his confession to the murder of Petito; the body was only found after his parents joined the massive manhunt. During the time Petito was missing, Bertolino stated, “’On behalf of the Laundrie family, it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is reunited with her family.”
After the Laundries asked that the case be dismissed, Petito’s attorneys wrote:
It is believed and therefore averred that on or about August 28, 2021, Brian Laundrie advised his parents Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie that he had murdered Gabrielle Petito. … While Gabrielle Petito’s family was suffering, the Laundrie family went on vacation to Fort DeSoto Park on September 6-7, 2021. They went on vacation knowing that Brian Laundrie murdered Gabrielle Petito, it is believed they knew where her body was located. …
In an effort to avoid any contact with Nichole Schmidt, on or about September 10, 2021, Roberta Laundrie blocked Nichole Schmidt on her cellular phone such that neither phone nor texts could be delivered, and she blocked her on Facebook.
“For the Laundries to express their ‘hope’ that Gabrielle Pet was located and reunited with her family, at a time when they knew she had been murdered by their son, was beyond outrageous,” they concluded.