Gabby Petito’s parents have added the Laundrie attorney Steven Bertolino to their civil lawsuit against Brian Laundrie’s parents. During a conversation with Fox News Tuesday, Petito’s family said that Bertolino was “insensitive, cold-hearted and outrageous” when discussing his and the Laundrie families’ hope that Gabby would be found during a statement in September 2021. Gabby’s parents, Joseph Petito and Nicole Schmidt, originally filed the lawsuit earlier this year as they believe that the Laundrie’s, Christopher and Roberta, know that their son, Brian, had killed Gabby and that they knew where her remains were. Bertolino has been brought into the suit, as when the couple chose to finally speak it was through him that a statement was issued hoping the search was successful and that Gabby would be reunited with her family.
According to Fox News:
“When they did choose to speak, it was through statements issued by Steven Bertolino, including a statement on September 14, 2021 that it was the ‘hope’ of the Laundrie family ‘that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is reunited with her family,’” Gabby’s parents said in a statement on Tuesday.”
Essentially Gabby’s parents are suing Brian’s parents because they believe that they knew Brian killed Gabby, and they knew where the body was but through their attorney they lied and gave false hope that Gabby would come home, Bertolino was brought into it because he facilitated the lies.
Brian and Gabby had been on a cross-country road trip during the summer of 2021. Though when Brian returned to his North Port, Florida home on September 1st without Gabby, and her parents didn’t hear from her, they reported her missing on September 11th. Despite weird actions by the family, including a camping trip as soon as Brian returned home without Gabby, Gabby’s family and the public continued to pressure the Laundrie’s about Gabby. At which point, Bertolino, the family attorney gave the September 14th statement that made it seem as though they knew nothing about what had happened. Gabby’s body was later found on September 19th, and it was determined that Gabby had been killed via manual strangulation and blunt-force trauma to the head and neck.
Though before Gabby had even been found, Brian left his family home and headed into a nearby environmental park, never to be seen again. His remains were found October 20th along with a note claiming responsibility for what had happened to Gabby. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Gabby’s family had a previous wrongful death lawsuit which has recently been settled for $3 million and they have filed another $50 million wrong death lawsuit against the Moab Police Department alleging the officers failed to properly handle a 911 call in which a witness described Brian hitting Gabby.