Gabby Petito’s family andA wrongful death lawsuit filed in August 2021 after authorities concluded it was during a cross-country trip has led to a $3 million settlement.
The settlement was signed Thursday by Sarasota County Circuit Judge Hunter W. Carroll. An attorney for Petito’s parents said any money raised would go to the Gabby Petito Foundation, which is dedicated to locating missing persons and preventing domestic violence.
“The Petito family lost their daughter and they were also denied the opportunity to confront her killer,” attorney Patrick Reilly said in an email. “No amount of money is enough to compensate the Petito family for the loss of their daughter, Gabby, at the hands of Brian Laundry.”
A lawsuit involving Petito and Laundry’s estates, filed in May, claimed that Laundry was liable for damages because he caused her death. A separate lawsuit, still pending in Sarasota, claims Laundry’s parents wrongfully concealed that he confessed to killing Petito before he left on his trip west in a converted van in September 2021. returned to Florida.
Christopher and Roberta Laundry denied that claim.
Petito’s disappearance on the trip and the discovery of her dead body in a Wyoming national park on September 19, 2021, became a national obsession, continuing during the week-long search for Laundry in a swampy Florida nature preserve.
His remains were found there in October 2021 and investigators say heand left a note According to the FBI, for the murder of Petito.
It is highly unlikely that the laundry is worth $3 million. Reilly called it “an arbitrary number”, but whatever amount is collected will benefit the Petito Foundation.
“Joseph Petito and Nicole Schmidt want to turn their personal tragedy into a positive,” Reilly said.
“Hopefully, this brings some closure to this one chapter of this tragedy,” Steven Bertolino, an attorney for the Laundry family, said in a message to CBS News.
The Petito family has also filed a $50 millionWhere the couple got into a physical altercation, the authorities allowed them to resume their journey despite clear danger signs of domestic violence.
The Moab Police Department is named in that lawsuit; its three officers: “Palmer,” “Pratt” and Daniel Robbins; and 10 other unnamed defendants and accused them of “negligent failure” in their investigation into the dispute.
They allege “wrongful death” on the defendants, saying that Petito’s “death was caused by their wrongful acts or neglect.”
The city has declined to comment on that lawsuit.
Petito, 22, was in regular contact with her parents and frequently posted about her trip on social media, including YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. The couple had a regular following before the murder mystery took off.
The FBI says Laundry sent text messages from Petito’s cellphone to her parents and others in an attempt to pretend she was still alive. He was also accused of illegally using one of her credit cards prior to the discovery of her remains at a Florida Nature Preserve.
Petito and Laundry were about to get married. The two grew up in Blue Point, New York, but moved in 2019 to North Port, Florida, where their parents live. It was from here that they started the van trip which ended with the death of both of them.