Nichole Schmidt, Gabby Petito’s mother, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the curator of the estate of Brian Laundrie in Florida.
According to the complaint obtained by TMZ, Nichole Schmidt accuses Laundrie of committing intentional acts that resulted in her daughter’s death. The plaintiff is seeking $30 million in damages for “incurred funeral and burial expenses,” as well as her family’s “loss of care and comfort,” and “loss of probable future companionship, society and comfort.” The complaint also requests a jury trial.
The Laundrie’s attorney, Steven Bertolino, told outlets the wrongful death suit was “expected.”
“This lawsuit will most likely not be defended,” he told Fox News, “and the Petitos will have gained nothing more than a piece of paper that tells them what everyone already knows – which is that Brian was responsible for Gabby’s death as indicated by the FBI.”
The suit was filed about two months after Petito’s parents sued Laundrie’s family for allegedly helping their son dodge authorities after they learned he had killed Petito. Bertolino called that complaint “baseless” and asked the court to dismiss the civil suit.
— Josh Benson (@WFLAJosh) March 30, 2022
Petito and her fiancé, Laundrie, embarked on a months-long road trip last summer, traveling across the country in a white van. The woman was reported missing on Sept. 11, about 10 days after Laundrie returned to his family’s Florida home without Petito. Days after authorities launched a nationwide search, Petito’s remains were found on Sept. 19 near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. A coroner later determined Petito died by “manual strangulation” weeks before her body was discovered.
Laundrie, who was considered a “person of interest” in Petito’s death, did not speak with police during the investigation, and had seemingly disappeared as more details about the case were revealed. His family reported him missing in October, shortly before his body was found in a Florida nature reserve. Investigators said they also recovered a number of items at the scene, including a notebook in which Laundrie allegedly admitted to killing Petito.