The parents of Brian Laundrie went on vacation with their son amid the widespread search for his fiancée, Gabby Petito — despite knowing he killed her and the “whereabouts of her body,” according to new court filings.
Petito’s parents, Joe Petito and Nichole Schmidt, made the allegation in a recent amendment to a lawsuit they initially filed against the Laundries in March, CNN reported. They claim the three traveled to a Florida nature attraction, Fort De Soto Park near Tampa, just days before Gabby was reported missing.
“They went on vacation knowing that Brian Laundrie had murdered Gabrielle Petito, it is believed that they knew where her body was located, and further knew that Gabrielle Petito’s parents were attempting to locate her,” according to the suit.
Petito and Laundrie had spent the summer traveling cross country and documenting their adventures with photos and video later shared across social media platforms. Family members grew concerned, however, when Laundrie quietly returned home from the road trip without his bride-to-be. Her disappearance sparked a massive search effort that culminated in the discovery of her body on Sept. 19 at a campground near Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming.
A coroner later determined she died about three weeks earlier of “blunt-force injuries to the head and neck, with manual strangulation.”
The vacation allegation comes after a Florida district court judge told Petito’s parents their initial filing against the Laundries had “procedural deficiency” and must be amended to proceed.
Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie have repeatedly denied knowing Gabby Petito was dead and where her remains might be located. They’ve also been accused of helping their son flee amid the investigation into Petito’s disappearance.
Laundrie vanished shortly after the end of his cross-country road trip with Petito. His remains were were later found in a Florida reserve and a medical examiner ruled he died by suicide. Nearby, authorities found a notebook in which they said Laundrie claimed responsibility for Petito’s death.
There is no specific monetary amount listed on the lawsuit, but Petito’s parents are asking for damages that exceed $30,000.