Back in March, the Petito family filed a lawsuit against the Laundrie family regarding the death of Gabby Petito – who was murdered and disposed of by her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, in mid-September 2021. About a month after her remains were found, Laundrie’s body was found with a written confession.
In the lawsuit, the Petito family alleged that the Laundrie family not only knew of the murder at some point during the search for Gabby Petito but also knew where her remains were located well before they were found and were trying to help their son flee the country before he ultimately decided to commit suicide.
Now nearly nine months after filing the lawsuit, the Petito family is filing a motion to add the Laundrie family lawyer, Steven Bertolino, as a defendant – alleging that he knew of the murder and the whereabouts of Gabby’s remains during the search, as well. The civil lawsuit is currently ongoing.
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According to court documents, Bertolino and Laundrie’s parents – Christopher and Roberta Laundrie – knew what happened when they released a statement on September 14, 2021, during the search for Gabby Petito. Instead of taking that opportunity to explain what they know, they kept it to themselves.
“It is our understanding that a search has been organized for Miss Petito in or near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. On behalf of the Laundrie family it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful, and that Miss Petito is reunited with her family,” the Laundrie family said in the statement.
The Petito family expressed how ‘outrageous’ it was that Bertolino and Laundrie’s parents would release a statement conveying their ‘hope’ that Gabby be found when they knew what happened and where she was located. It’s a sentiment that many people have shared since the lawsuit went public in March.
And now that the family lawyer has been added as a defendant, the Petito family intends on proving that Bertolino was contacted by the Laundrie family on August 29th – the day after they allegedly learned of the murder. Not only that, but they plan on proving that he was paid a retainer on September 2, 2021.
Parents of Gabby Petito Want the Laundrie Family, Bertolino to be Held Accountable
The parents of Gabby Petito are on a mission to ensure those responsible for her daughter’s death are held accountable for their roles in the murder-suicide – alleging they knew more than they told between August 28 and September 19. If guilty, the Laundrie family could be in for quite a hefty punishment.
Just a few weeks ago, a Sarasota judge awarded the Petito family $3 million in a separate lawsuit against the Laundrie family – this one a wrongful death lawsuit. The proceeds will go towards the Gabby Petito Foundation, which helps organizations find missing persons and provide aid to domestic abuse victims.
“We wish to turn our personal tragedy into a positive. It is our hope that Gabby’s foundation will bring these important issues into the forefront of the public eye to the benefit of all our communities,” the family wrote in the foundation’s mission statement, adding that they’re an IRS registered 501(c)(3) organization.
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“No amount of money is sufficient to compensate the Petito family for the loss of their daughter, Gabby, at the hands of Brian Laundrie. Brian did not have $3 million; it’s an arbitrary number. Whatever monies they do receive will help Gabby’s family in their endeavors with the Gabby Petito Foundation,” said the Petito family lawyer a few weeks ago.
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