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Petito Lawsuit Moves Forward After Judge Denies Motion To Dismiss

Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito during their van trip in a photo posted on Laundrie's Instagram account in late July, 2021.
Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito during their van trip in a photo posted on Laundrie's Instagram account in late July, 2021. Photo Credit: Instagram/@bizarre_design_

A civil lawsuit filed by the parents of Gabby Petito against the parents of Brian Laundrie for emotional distress will go forward after a judge denied a request for dismal.

Sarasota County Circuit Judge Hunter W. Carroll issued the ruling Thursday, June 30.

Calling the case made by the Laundrie's attorney, "objectively outrageous," the judge denied the motion to dismiss.

Petito's mother and father, Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt filed the lawsuit in March claiming the Laundries knew Gabby, age 22, of Blue Point in Suffolk County, was dead and kept the information from the family and from police.

Last year Laundrie, age 23, who relocated from Long Island to North Port, Florida, wrote in a journal that he killed Petito after she injured herself when she fell in a creek while they were attempting to make it back to their van. He also wrote: "From the moment I decided, took away her pain, I knew I couldn't go on without her."

In September 2021, Gabby's body was located by searchers in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. A medical examiner determined she died from homicidal strangulation. 

Laundrie vanished after returning home to Florida in Gabby's van without her and was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the swampy park.

Gabby's parents are asking for at least $30,000 in damages when the case goes before a jury next summer.

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