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Brian Laundrie’s Parents ‘Knew Where Her Body Was,’ According To Lawyer In Gabby Petito Case

Gabby Petito, Brian Laundrie, Roberta Laundrie, Chris Laundrie

The first hearing in the lawsuit filed by Gabby Petito’s family against Brian Laundrie’s parents has concluded with a judge expected to issue a decision on whether the case will move to trial in two weeks.

The lawsuit, originally filed in March, accuses Christopher and Roberta Laundrie of “intentional infliction of emotional distress,” claiming the Laundries were aware Brian murdered Gabby and chose not to act.

The Petito family’s lawyer claim Brian Laundrie’s parents knew where Gabby Petito’s body was.

“It’s about what they did with the information they had. They could have made an anonymous phone call and said where the body was located,” the Petito’s attorney Pat Reilly told a judge during the hearing.

“They knew starting on August 28th that Gabby was dead, they knew where her body was.”

RELATED: Why Gabby Petito's Official Cause Of Death Was Tragically Predictable

Reilly cited a statement made by the Laundrie family’s lawyer back in September when authorities began to search Grand Teton National Park, days before Petito’s body was found on September 19.

“On behalf of the Laundrie family it is our hope that the search for Ms Petito is successful and that Ms Petito is reunited with her family,” the statement read.

Reilly alleged that the Laundries had knowingly put out a false statement when they knew Gabby was not alive.

“That’s callous, it’s shameful, it’s outrageous,” he said.

Gabby’s parents Joe Petito and Nicole Schmidt sat with their lawyer while arguments were made in the case.

Schmidt was seen rubbing a heart-shaped locket around her neck throughout the hearing.

Roberta and Christopher Laundrie were not present in the courtroom.

The Laundries’ lawyer claims they had no legal obligation to speak to authorities.

“The law imposes no such obligation to speak,” said the Laundrie family’s new lawyer Matt Luka, who has replaced Steven Bertolino. 

“In our country and under our laws, people are free not to speak.”

RELATED: Comment On Brian Laundrie’s Instagram Raises Questions About An Alleged History Of Abuse Against Gabby Petito

Joe Petito and Nicole Schmidt also claim in the lawsuit that Chris and Roberta sought to help their son flee the country and blocked Schmidt on her phone and Facebook page after she reach out for information about her daughter.

“While Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt were desperately searching for information concerning their daughter, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie were keeping the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie secret, and it is believed were making arrangements for him to leave the country,” the suit says.

This is the first time Gabby Petito’s murder has been discussed in court.

Gabby went missing in Wyoming in late August 2021 while on a cross-country trip with her fiancee, Brian Laundrie. 

The 23-year-old returned to his parents’ Florida home alone over a week before Gabby’s family reported her missing.

Brian then fled his family home days before Gabby was found strangled to death in Grand Teton National Park on September 19. His remains were discovered in Florida’s Carlton Reserve on October 20 after a widely publicized search. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The Laundries’ failure to co-operate with the investigation into Gabby’s disappearance and death along with their failure to tell the police Brian was missing until three days after his disappearance has caused many, including the Petito family, to accuse them of covering up their son’s crime.

RELATED: 30 Important Domestic Violence Lessons To Learn From The Gabby Petito Brian Laundrie Case

Alice Kelly is YourTango’s Deputy News and Entertainment Editor. Based in Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest. Keep up with her Twitter for more.