Brian Laundrie’s parents appeared at the Sarasota County Circuit Court in Florida on Wednesday, for a hearing to dismiss a civil lawsuit filed by Gabby Petito’s parents.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, court documents filed earlier this year against Chris and Roberta Laundrie state that allegations were made in the missing Gabby Petito case that were never disclosed by the FBI.
The lawsuit claims that Brian Laundrie, who was the last person to see Gabby alive, told his parents that he murdered her, but his parents remained silent. The couple then took measures to protect their son, the lawsuit alleges.
The lawsuit also claims that Gabby was found with blunt force trauma to her head and neck, although her cause of death was listed as strangulation. Further, the Laundries are accused of making plans to get their son out of the country while ignoring desperate calls and messages from Gabby’s family.
The Laundries subsequently filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit and declined to attend the hearing. The couple’s lawyer, Steven Bertolino, appeared virtually in the courtroom on their behalf.
In court Wednesday, Petito lawyer Pat Reilly said the biggest issue with the defendants is their conduct after they found out Gabby was murdered and left behind thousands of miles from home.
“This case is not simply about the silence of Christopher and Roberta Laundrie who knew their son had murdered Gabby Petito… It’s about a course of conduct they committed from the moment they learned on August 28 of 2021 that their son had brutally murdered Gabby Petito up until her body was found.”
Brian and Gabby embarked on a cross-country trip together in July 2021 but by September 1, Laundrie returned to his parents’ North Port, Florida, home with Gabby’s van, but without Gabby.
On September 19, 2021, authorities found Gabby’s deceased body in a remote area at the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. According to Teton County coroner, Dr. Blue, Gabby died from strangulation; her death has been listed as a homicide.
“They could have made an anonymous phone call and said where the body was located, that would have helped this situation tremendously,” Reilly said in court Wednesday.
“They knew starting on August 28, 2021, that Gabby was dead, they knew where gabby’s body was, they knew that the Petito family was desperately searching for information, but they did things affirmatively, they did not just remain silent.”
In November, the FBI announced that Laundrie’s remains were found in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in Florida. He had a gunshot wound to his head.
Laundrie’s parents told authorities that Laundrie fled to the Carlton Reserve while highly upset on September 13, even though his father begged him to stay at home. Chris Laundrie told his attorney that Brian Laundrie claimed he wanted to get some fresh air and take a hike at the reserve.
Sarasota County Circuit Court Judge Hunter W. Carroll is expected to provide a written ruling on whether the case will go to jury trial. He said he would provide a written response in a few weeks.
Check back for updates.
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