Wednesday June 29, 2022

Gabby Petito’s father calls Laundrie family ‘cowards’

Lawyers for Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie will come face-to-face in court for the first time on Wednesday as a judge will decide whether a civil lawsuit against the killer’s family can go ahead.

Ms Petito’s parents filed a lawsuit in Florida’s Sarasota County Circuit Court in March alleging that Chris and Roberta Laundrie were aware that their son had killed the vlogger before she was reported missing.

Joe Petito and Nichole Schmidt also accuse the Laundries of planning to help Brian leave the country, and are seeking damages for the “intentional infliction of emotional distress”.

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Laundrie family attorney Steve Bertolino has described the allegations as “baseless” and is seeking to have the case thrown out.

The lawsuit alleges Brian Laundrie informed his parents of the Ms Petito’s murder “on or about” 28 August.

“While Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt were desperately searching for information concerning their daughter, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie were keeping the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie secret, and it is believed were making arrangements for him to leave the country,” the lawsuit says.

Judge Hunter W. Carroll will hear arguments from both sides to determine whether the case can proceed to a jury trial next year.

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Everything we know about Gabby Petito’s murder on ‘dream’ road trip

ICYMI: Gabby Petito, 22, an aspiring social media star who went missing in late August during a “dream” cross-country road trip from New York to Oregon with her fiancé, was strangled to death, and her body found in a Wyoming national park.

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More than a month later, skeletal human remains found inside the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in Florida were confirmed to be those of her fiancé Brian Laundrie.

Autopsy results showed Laundrie died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and a notebook found alongside the remains contained a note claiming responsibility for the murder.

Read about the background to the case here.

Graeme Massie23 June 2022 04:05

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Gabby Petito’s mother files wrongful death lawsuit against Brian Laundrie estate

ICYMI: In a separate civil lawsuit, Gabby Petito’s mother has filed a wrongful death claim against Brian Laundrie’s estate seeking $30,000 in damages.

Nichole Schmidt states in the suit that Laundrie intentionally killed her 22-year-old daughter, causing her and her ex-husband Joseph Petito to incur funeral and burial expenses, and suffer “a loss of probable future companionship, society and comfort”.

Ms Schmidt is seeking a trial by jury and a judgment for compensatory damages in the suit.

Read more:

Graeme Massie23 June 2022 03:02

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Gabby’s mother rubs heart-shaped locket during hearing

ICYMI: Gabby Petito’s mother Nichole Schmidt could be seen rubbing a heart-shaped locket as the hearing continued.

(YouTube/WFLA)

Graeme Massie23 June 2022 02:03

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Brian Laundrie’s parents ‘knew where her body was’

ICYMI: Brian Laundrie’s parents knew where Gabby Petito’s body had when they put out a statement hoping she would be found, a civil court hearing has been told.

Ms Petito’s parents Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt are suing the Laundries in Florida’s Sarasota County Circuit Court alleging that Chris and Roberta Laundrie deliberately withheld that their son had killed the vlogger before she was reported missing.

Bevan Hurley has the story.

Graeme Massie23 June 2022 01:06

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The man who became the most trusted source in the Gabby Petito case

ICYMI: Brian Entin, NewsNation’s senior correspondent, covered the Gabby Petito case 16 hours a day for several months, and became renowned for his commitment to getting out accurate, timely information.

He spoke to The Independent in November about how he pursued the case, and how it might be resolved.

Graeme Massie23 June 2022 00:04

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Why Gabby Petito’s parents are suing Chris and Roberta Laundrie

ICYMI: Petito family alleges that Brian Laundrie’s family knew he had killed her and were planning to help him escape.

Bevan Hurley has the story.

Graeme Massie22 June 2022 23:37

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Judge raises Johnny Depp’s defamation of Amber Heard

Johnny Depp’s defamation of Amber Heard was raised during a civil court hearing to determine whether Gabby Petito’s family can sue the parents of Brian Laundrie.

Ms Petito’s parents Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt allege that Chris and Roberta Laundrie released a misleading statement through their lawyer that their daughter was still alive when they knew their son Brian had already killed her.

Bevan Hurley has all the details.

Graeme Massie22 June 2022 23:01

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The sad, twisting saga of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie

“Blue Point Woman Reported Missing,” the Suffolk County Police Department tweeted on 13 September.

Not everyone who spotted the announcement would necessarily have feared the worst. It was certainly odd that the vehicle she had been travelling in had returned without her. Yet people are reported missing all the time. And it is not unheard of for young people to get off the grid for all sorts of reasons.

What we know now is that by the time her parents reported her missing, and the Suffolk County Police Department posted its one-line statement, the 22-year-old woman was already dead, having been strangled to death around two weeks earlier in the Spread Creek campsite, 20 miles north of Jackson Hole.

Read Andrew Buncombe’s recap of what the Gabby Petito tells us about America.

Graeme Massie22 June 2022 22:35

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Brian Laundrie admits killing Gabby Petito in ‘suicide note’ found near his remains

ICYMI: The FBI revealed in January that Brian Laundrie claimed responsibility for the murder of Gabby Petito’s death in a “suicide note” found near his remains.

It found Laundrie was solely responsible for the “tragic death of Gabby Petito” as it announced it was wrapping up its four and a half month long investigation.

A notebook recovered near Laundrie’s remains in Florida’s Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park contained a written confession, the FBI said.

“A review of the notebook revealed written statements by Mr Laundrie claiming responsibility for Ms Petito’s death,” the FBI said in a statement.

Graeme Massie22 June 2022 22:04

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List of potential witnesses at next year’s jury trial

ICYMI: In May, the Petito family’s attorneys issued a list of names they would seek to call at trial.

The names included Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt, Gabby’s mother and father, Tara Petito and James Schmidt, her stepmother and stepfather.

Also on the witness list were Brian Laundrie’s parents Chris and Roberta, and representatives of the FBI and North Post Police Department.

Laundrie attorney Steve Bertolino told WFLA at the time it was a “wish list”.

A trial would likely take place in August 2023.

<img src="https://static.independent.co.uk/2022/03/11/21/Missing_Traveler_68758.jpg?quality=75&width=982&height=726&auto=webp" srcset="https://static.independent.co.uk/2022/03/11/21/Missing_Traveler_68758.jpg?quality=75&width=640&auto=webp&crop=982:726,smart 640w" alt="

Joe and Tara Petito at a press conference in 2021

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Joe and Tara Petito at a press conference in 2021

(Associated Press)

Graeme Massie22 June 2022 21:45

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