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A newly filed court document claims Brian Laundrie’s parents knew his girlfriend, 22-year-old Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito, was killed before they went on a family vacation to Fort De Soto Park.
The filing, filed Thursday in Sarasota County Court in Florida on behalf of Petito’s parents and written by attorney Patrick J. Reilly, alleges that Laundrie, 23, told her parents that Petito died on August 28. 2021.
That same day, Petito’s attorney claims, the Laundries spoke to attorney Steve Bertolino.
“While Gabrielle Petito’s family was suffering, the Laundrie family vacationed at Fort DeSoto Park on September 6 and 7, 2021,” Reilly said. “They went on vacation knowing that Brian Laundrie had murdered Gabrielle Petito, it is believed they knew where her body was and further knew that Gabrielle Petito’s parents were trying to locate her.”
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Fort De Soto Park is located in Pinellas County.
Records obtained by Fox News later that month showed Roberta Laundrie, Brian’s mother, had checked into the Florida park.
She canceled reservations for two people at the St. Petersburg campground on August 31 and made new reservations for three people at the same park on September 3 for the weekend of September 6-8.
Duane “Dog” Chapman, also known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, said he learned Laundrie’s parents had spent the night there twice in early September.
“I will no longer give this dog credence or make his false claims worthy with the time of my response,” Steven Bertolino, Laundrie’s attorney, told Fox News at the time. However, he told local media that the family had been camping on September 6 and 7 and that “they had all left the park”.
The documents revealed that the departure was actually recorded on September 8, three days before Gabby Petito was officially made a missing person.
Fellow camper Thomas Rutherford and his wife were celebrating their birthdays at the campground, three locations from Laundries, he previously told Fox News.
He said he could “vaguely remember” seeing their truck and RV because he and his wife rarely see campers attached to vehicles. Other than that, he had no interaction with the family.
Reilly wrote that Roberta Laundrie also allegedly blocked Nicole Schmidt – Gabby’s mother – on her cell phone and Facebook on or around September 10.
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Petito’s body was found Sept. 19 at a campground near Grand Teton National Park in northwest Wyoming.
As the Petito family searched for information, Reilly said, the laundries were keeping Brian’s whereabouts a secret, and it is believed they were “arranging for him to leave the country.”
He accused Christopher and Roberta Laundrie of acting “maliciously with great indifference to the rights of Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt”.
“Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie have exhibited extreme and scandalous conduct, which constitutes conduct, in the circumstances, which exceeds all possible limits of decency and is considered shocking, atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community” , did he declare.
The FBI announced in January that Brian Laundrie admitted to the murder in a notebook discovered near his body after his suicide at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park.
Petito’s parents and in-laws filed a lawsuit in Florida in March seeking more than $100,000 in damages for alleged negligence, pain and suffering.
At the end of the month, Bertolino filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice, arguing that there are no facts to support their claims of “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”
He requested that the judge stop the Petito family from filing an amended complaint if his request for dismissal is granted.
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Bertolino said the laundries were exercising their constitutional right to remain silent.
KDFW noted that the lawsuit does not provide evidence of when Brian Laundrie’s parents knew Gabby Petito was dead and where her remains might have been.
The couples are expected to face each other for a jury trial in 2023.