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Judge Rules Gabby Petito's Family Can Sue Brian Laundrie's Parents

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Judge Rules Gabby Petito's Family Can Sue Brian Laundrie's Parents

A judge has ruled that Gabby Petito's family can sue Brian Laundrie's parents.

Laundrie killed Ms Petito during a cross country trip the pair took last year, with her body found in Bridger–Teton National Forest in Wyoming last September.

She had been strangled to death by her boyfriend, Laundrie, who later killed himself near his family home in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, Florida.

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Ms Petito's family have since filed a suit against Laundrie's parents, claiming the Laundies knew their son had murdered their daughter at the time of the 22-year-old's disappearance.

Almost a week before her body was found, Laundrie's parents released a statement, saying: "It is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is reunited with her family."

Gabby Petito was murdered by her boyfriend during a roadtrip last year. Credit: Nomadik Static/YouTube
Gabby Petito was murdered by her boyfriend during a roadtrip last year. Credit: Nomadik Static/YouTube

However, Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt have accused Christopher and Roberta Laundrie of knowing what their son had done.

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And Judge Hunter W. Carroll has denied the Laundries’ motion to have the case thrown out of court.

In a ruling obtained by the New York Post, Judge Carroll said: "As alleged by the Plaintiffs, the Laundries made their statement knowing that Gabby was dead, knowing the location of her body, and knowing that her parents were frantically looking for her.

"If this is true, then the Laundries’ statement was particularly callous and cruel, and it is sufficiently outrageous to state claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress."

This comes after Laundrie's family released a note left by their son, in which he confessed to killing Ms Petito.

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Laundrie claims in his hand-written confession that the killing was ‘merciful’ after Petito was allegedly injured and in extreme pain.

Credit: Nichole Schmidt and Joseph Petito
Credit: Nichole Schmidt and Joseph Petito

The note reads: "I found her breathing heavily, gasping my name, she was freezing cold.

"The temperature had dropped to freezing and she was soaking wet. I carried her as far as I could down the stream towards the car, stumbling exhausted in shock, when my knees buckled and knew I couldn’t safely carry her.

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"I don’t know the extent of Gabby’s injuries. Only that she was in extreme pain.

"I ended her life, 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. But from the moment I decided, took away her pain, I knew I couldn’t go on without her."

He concluded: "I have killed myself by this creek in the hopes that animals may tear me apart. That it may make some of her family happy.

"Please pick up all of my things. Gabby hated people who litter."

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Patrick Reilly, an attorney for Petito’s family, told People that Laundrie’s claims are ‘nonsense’.

He said: "He is writing a letter as though he wants people to feel sorry for him."

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677 

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@gabspetito/FOX 13 Tampa Bay

Topics: News, US News, Crime, True crime, Police

Dominic Smithers
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