Petito Family's Lawsuit Against Brian Laundrie's Parents Heats Up

Cast your mind back to the autumn of 2021 when a shockingly awful missing person turned murder case gripped the nation. Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, headed out on a long trip in their van to see the sights of the U.S. — only Brian headed home to Florida early without Petito, and his family stayed tight-lipped on what exactly was happening.

Petito was initially declared missing before remains were tragically found at Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, one of the places she and Brian visited. Brian became a person of interest in the case, until his body was found after a nationwide manhunt. It was then confirmed in November 2021 that Brian died of a gunshot wound, believed to be self-inflicted, with Boston Globe reporting that the FBI found Laundries remains with a notebook in which he allegedly confessed to kissing Petito.

While that seemed like the end of the matter for those intricately following the shocking case, it, of course, would never be the end for the Petito or Laundrie families. In March 2021, Petito's family filed a negligence suit against Brian's parents, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie, after they admitted, per Law & Crime, they believed the couple may have withheld evidence by refusing to speak to the police before their son's body was found. And that lawsuit just got a big development.

Trial date set

Gabby Petito's family's lawsuit against Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie is moving forward, as it now officially has a date with a jury trial scheduled for August 14, 2023, per Herald-Tribune. But that doesn't necessarily mean things will go ahead as the Petito family are hoping, as there will be a hearing to determine if the lawsuit should be dismissed before that. That will take place on May 9, 2022, as the Laundries filed for a dismissal back in March 2022, calling it "baseless," according to CBS News. The Petito's civil suit made a pretty shocking claim, as they alleged there was a possibility Brian told Christopher and Roberta what happened during his ill-fated trip with Gabby Petitio and suggested they may allegedly have been trying to help him flee the U.S. before he was found dead.

Though Christopher and Roberta's lawyer claimed back in September 2021 that they had spoken to the police about trying to located Brian while he was missing, much of the world grew frustrated with the couple as they stayed tight-lipped about Petito. The Petitos also issued a heart-wrenching plea that month, asking the Laundries to speak to them or the police and share what, if anything, they knew. "We believe you know the location where Brian left Gabby. We beg you to tell us. As a parent, how could you let us go through this pain and not help us," they wrote in an open letter, per ABC 7.