During the days America was riveted by the hunt for Gabby Petito, her boyfriend’s parents knew their son had already killed her, Petito’s parents allege in a new lawsuit, which also claims there was a plan afoot to help Brian Laundrie flee the country.
The suit against Christopher and Roberta Laundrie was filed Thursday by Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt, according to NBC.
Petito and Laundrie had been camping in Wyoming in August. Petito was last seen on Aug. 25. On Sept. 1, Laundrie returned to Florida, where his parents live. On Sept. 11, Petito’s family formally filed a missing person report about her.
Amid a vast national hunt for Petito and as clues to her disappearance ran rampant on the internet, on Sept. 14, the Laundrie family issued a statement hoping she would be found. On Sept. 17, Laundrie was reported as officially missing.
Petito’s body was found on Sept. 19 near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. An autopsy would later reveal she was strangled.
Laundrie’s remains were found in October in a Florida nature reserve. Laundrie, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound according to an autopsy, had left a note that he killed Petito.
The FBI says Brian Laundrie, the boyfriend of slain cross-country traveler Gabby Petito, admitted to killing her in a notebook discovered near his body in a Florida swamp. It was the first time the FBI placed blame for Petito’s death on Laundrie. https://t.co/5dRrlRC4da
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 21, 2022
The suit, which claims damages in excess of $30,000, said that when the Laundries issued their Sept, 14 statement, they did so “with full knowledge that Gabrielle Petito had been murdered by their son.”
“Despite the fact that Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt implored Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie to tell them if their daughter was alive, and if she was not, where her remains were located, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie refused to respond to either Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt, or law enforcement,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit claims the defendants “knew of the mental suffering and anguish” the plaintiffs were experiencing and states that their refusal to disclose information about her whereabouts was an act of “malice or great indifference.”
“It is believed … that on or about August 28, 2021, Brian Laundrie advised his parents, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie, that he had murdered Gabrielle Petito,” the suit said.
Gabby’s parents, Joseph Petito and Nicole Schmidt, filed the lawsuit on Thursday and claimed that Brian had confessed the murder to his parents, Christopher and Roberta Laundrie, on or about Aug. 28, 2021.https://t.co/ASNM2QApeK
— WGXA (@WGXAnews) March 12, 2022
The lawsuit claims Laundrie’s parents kept their son’s location hidden during the search for Petito and alleges they “were making arrangements for him to leave the country.”
Lawyer Steve Bertolino, who represented the family, said the Laundries did nothing wrong.
“As I have maintained over the last several months, the Laundries have not publicly commented at my direction, which is their right under the law,” Bertolino said in a statement.
Gabby Petito’s parents are suing the Laundrie family
The family of the murdered “van life” woman filed a suit against the parents of her killer, Brian Laundrie https://t.co/kuMCK9uDef
— Jerome Chenu (@JrmChenu) March 13, 2022
“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,” the statement said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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