The lawsuit filed on Thursday in Sarasota County Circuit Court contends that Laundrie informed his mother and father on August 28 that he had killed Petito, 22, his fiancee of a few 12 months on the time.
Petito’s disappearance on the journey and the next discovery of her slain physique September 19 in a Wyoming nationwide park grew to become a nationwide obsession, augmented by the later seek for Laundrie in a Florida nature protect.
The FBI concluded that Laundrie strangled Petito — with whom he had earlier home quarrels and violence — and that Laundrie fatally shot himself within the Carlton Reserve swamp after returning house alone on September 1.
The lawsuit contends that Christopher and Roberta Laundrie hid that their son had confessed to the homicide from investigators and Petito’s mother and father whereas the seek for Gabby Petito was ongoing.
“In doing so, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie acted with malice or great indifference to the rights of (Gabby’s parents) Joseph Petito and Nicole Schmidt,” the lawsuit claims, including that this conduct was “shocking, atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilised community.”
The lawsuit provides that the Laundries had been “making arrangements for him (Brian) to leave the country.”
No proof was included to again up this declare.
The lawsuit seeks damages of at the least $40,896.
An lawyer for the Laundries, Steven Bertolino, stated in a textual content message on Friday that his purchasers had been totally inside their rights to not speak. He additionally denied the lawsuit’s claims usually.
“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,” Bertolino stated. “This fundamental legal principle renders the Petitos’ claims to be baseless under the law.”
Petito and Laundrie had been each from Blue Point, New York, however moved to his mother and father’ Gulf Coast house in North Port, Florida, in 2019.
It was Petito’s van the couple took on their journey from Florida, which was supposed to finish on Halloween on the Pacific coast.
The lawsuit says that till that journey and her disappearance, the households “had a cordial relationship.”
“Gabrielle Petito had hopes of becoming a travel influencer, a ‘van-lifer’ and document her cross-country travels” on numerous social media websites, the lawsuit says.
Petito had been in common contact along with her mother and father and posted steadily on social media about their travels, together with YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. The couple had a daily following earlier than the homicide thriller took maintain.
The FBI says Laundrie despatched textual content messages from Petito’s cellphone to her mother and father and others in an effort to fake she was nonetheless alive.
He was additionally charged with illegally utilizing one in all her bank cards earlier than his stays had been found within the Florida nature protect.