JUSTICE

Wednesday’s hearing in Petito case to determine if suit will move forward

Jun 22, 2022, 10:59 AM
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Bodycam footage from the Moab Police Department shows Gabby Petito while speaking with officers. Photo: Moab Police Department

SARASOTA COUNTY, FL — A wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of Gabby Petito will go before a judge on Wednesday. 

The lawsuit filed by Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt against the parents of Brian Laundrie — the man believed to have killed Petito in 2021 — alleges that Christopher and Roberta Laundrie knew that Gabbie Petito had been killed and that the Laundrie parents willingly concealed information from them and from authorities. 

The complaint also alleged the Laundries knew the whereabouts of their son but concealed that information.  Furthermore, the suit alleges that Brian Laundrie’s parents were making arrangements to help their son flee the country.

A motion filed on behalf of the Laundries by attorney Steven Bertolino, called for the lawsuit to be dismissed.

With hopes of becoming social media influencers, Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie embarked on a cross-country trip. The pair left in June 2021 in Petito’s van.

Body cam footage from an interaction between the couple and the Moab City Police Department on Aug.12, 2021, showed the couple had been arguing. The police arrived after a call of a possible domestic situation. 

Petito was last heard from on Aug. 28, 2021. Remains found in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in late September 2021, were officially identified as being those of Gabby Petito by the Teton County coroner on September 21, 2021.

Arguments are set to start Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. ET and last approximately one hour. Judge Hunter W. Carroll will determine if the trial will go before a jury. If the case proceeds to a jury, that trial is expected to begin in August of 2023.

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Wednesday’s hearing in Petito case to determine if suit will move forward