Gabby Petito case: Brian Laundrie parents spared from testifying under oath on 1-year mark after son's remains
Petito's parents are suing Laundrie's parents, alleging the latter tried to help their son flee a potential murder prosecution
The depositions of Brian Laundrie’s parents in a civil lawsuit over the strangling death of Gabby Petito have been postponed.
They were scheduled for Thursday, which coincidentally marks one year since Laundrie’s remains were discovered in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in North Port, Florida.
Pat Reilly, who is representing Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt in a lawsuit alleging that Chris and Roberta Laundrie were aware that their son killed Gabby Petito and tried to help him flee justice, told Fox News Digital that there was "no significance" to the originally scheduled date.
On Tuesday, as the community continues its recovery from a catastrophic Hurricane Ian, Reilly filed notice with the court canceling Thursday’s appointment, which has been rescheduled for Dec. 1. Chris Laundrie is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the attorney's office in Venice, with his wife's statement to immediately follow.
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In an email, Reilly told Fox News Digital that the reason for the postponement was that he was still waiting for documents from a records request.
"Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie exhibited extreme and outrageous conduct which constitutes behavior, under the circumstances, which goes beyond all possible bounds of decency and is regarded as shocking, atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community," the lawsuit alleges.
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"As a direct and proximate result of the willfulness and maliciousness of Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie, Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt had been caused to suffer pain and suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, loss of capacity for enjoyment of life experienced in the past and to be experienced in the future," the civil complaint reads.
According to the lawsuit, Brian Laundrie killed Gabby Petito on Aug. 27, 2021, and sent phony text messages between his phone and hers "in an effort to hide the fact" that she was dead, according to court documents and the FBI.
The Laundries' attorney in the civil case, Matt Luka, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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Brian Laundrie drove to his parents’ house in North Port, Florida, where police say he arrived on Sept. 1.
The family said nothing publicly about Gabby Petito’s whereabouts, and when police knocked on their door on Sept. 11 in response to a missing person report for the 22-year-old travel blogger, they invoked their right to remain silent.
On Sept. 13, Brian Laundrie slipped away. On Sept. 19, Gabby Petito’s remains were discovered at a Wyoming campsite the couple had shared the evening she was last seen alive – Aug. 27. The Teton County coroner ruled her death a homicide by manual strangulation and found blunt force trauma to her head and neck.
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A nationwide manhunt for Brian Laundrie turned up nothing until Oct. 20, when Laundrie’s parents, a North Port detective and an FBI member trailed by Fox News Digital, returned to the Myakkahatchee Creek park.
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Christopher Laundrie found a dry bag and some other items that the FBI later said belonged to Brian, and investigators stumbled upon human remains in an area the parents had been telling detectives to search for weeks but had been underwater due to flooding.
Investigators, who initially ignored the bag, accepted it from the Laundries shortly before closing off the park and discovered a notebook inside attributed to their son, in which he confessed to Petito’s murder.
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"I ended her life," he wrote, in an eight-page missive first published by Fox News Digital. "I thought it was merciful, that it is what she wanted, but I see now all the mistakes I made. I panicked. I was in shock."