Phones

Brian Laundrie’s parents may be forced to hand over their phones in lawsuit

Brian Laundrie's parents may be forced to hand over their phones in lawsuit
Written by Publishing Team

BRIAN Laundrie’s parents may be forced to hand over phones in a $100,000 lawsuit filed by Gabby Petito’s family, after being accused of knowing their son killed the vlogger.

Petito’s dad, Joseph, and mom, Nichole Schmidt, filed a civil lawsuit against Chris and Roberta Laundrie last week in Sarasota County, Florida – months after their daughter was strangled to death.

5

Brian Laundrie’s parents are fighting a $100K civil lawsuit after their son’s deathCredit: Splash
They claim the lawsuit is baseless and have never been arrested for a crime

5

They claim the lawsuit is baseless and have never been arrested for a crimeCredit: Splash

Laundrie’s parents, who have slammed the lawsuit as “baseless”, helped locate their son’s body after he disappeared and have never been arrested or charged with a crime.

But their attorney also claimed that they “had no obligation to speak to law enforcement or any third-party including the Petito family,” during the investigation.

In an exclusive interview with The Sun, criminal defense attorney Josh Ritter, who was a Los Angeles County prosecutor for nearly a decade with a 90 percent conviction rate, has spoken about the new civil case.

“If I were representing the Petito’s my first request would be for Laundrie’s parents’ cell phones,” he said.

“We all walk around with an astounding amount of information in our pockets: text messages, emails, phone calls, voicemails, location history, purchase history, you name it.

“The cell phones alone could contain everything that the Petitos need to prevail in this case.

“We will have to wait to see what evidence is uncovered during litigation to truly tell if the lawsuit is a strong one or not.

“But if evidence does exist – and you can imagine it might in the form of text messages or emails – showing that Laundrie’s parents were aware of the murder, and helped their son conceal evidence or evade capture, then the lawsuit would be on very sound footing.”

Ritter said the lawsuit comes as no shock as the Petitos continue to mourn the death of their 22-year-old daughter, who died during a camping trip with fiance Brian.

“This lawsuit comes as no surprise, once you realize the incredible pain and loss experienced by the Petito family,” he said.

“Laundrie’s suicide denied them their chance of finding justice for Gabby’s murder in criminal court, so it’s only expected that they would turn to a civil lawsuit in hopes of finding some closure.”

Petito’s parents also allege that Laundrie told his mom and dad what happened “on or about” August 28 – one day after her death.

“It is believed, and therefore averred that… Brian Laundrie advised his parents, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie, that he had murdered Gabrielle Petito,” the lawsuit states.

NO JUSTICE

“On that same date, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie spoke with Attorney Steve Bertolino, and sent him a retainer on Sept. 2, 2021.”

The legal action alleged that Laundrie sent text messages back and forth between his phone and Petito’s after she died “in an effort to hide the fact she was deceased.”

It even goes on to claim that Laundrie sent an additional text from Petito’s phone on August 30 to Nichole saying there was no service in Yosemite Park “in an effort to deceive” her.

The lawsuit then details what happened in the days following, before the official missing person alert for Gabby went out.

Gabby’s family says that there was no contact between the Petito’s or the Laundrie’s after Brian returned home on September 1.

But then, when an official search for Gabby’s remains was underway, the lawsuit said that the Laundrie family refused to respond to questions both from law enforcement and the Petito family.

Nichole also claims that Roberta blocked her phone number and her Facebook profile around September 10, the lawsuit alleges.

The Petito’s believe that Laundrie’s parents were planning to help him flee the country, the suit added.

FAMILY’S MENTAL ANGUISH

“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’s secret, and he believed they were making arrangements for him to leave the country,” it read.

Gabby’s family is now seeking damages of at least $100K, stating that they suffered pain and mental anguish.

On Tuesday, November 23, 2021, the cause of death for Brian Laundrie was officially released – weeks after his girlfriend was found dead and he went missing.

It was ruled Brian died by suicide after his remains were found during a search of Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park with his parents after the area had previously been water-logged.

Authorities confirmed they found bones after locating a backpack and notebook belonging to Laundrie, and later revealed he confessed to killing Gabby in his journal.

After disappearing, the 23-year-old was wanted by the FBI for fraudulent bank activity after he allegedly used Gabby’s bank cards after her death.

Gabby Petito was just 22 when she was found strangled to death in woodland

5

Gabby Petito was just 22 when she was found strangled to death in woodlandCredit: Instagram / Gabby Petito
Lawyer Josh Ritter has had his say on the new lawsuit filed by the Petito family

5

Lawyer Josh Ritter has had his say on the new lawsuit filed by the Petito familyCredit: Courtesy Josh Ritter
Joseph Petito and Nicole Schmidt want justice after their daughter's shocking death

5

Joseph Petito and Nicole Schmidt want justice after their daughter’s shocking deathCredit: Dr. Phil/ CBS

.

About the author

Publishing Team