The parents of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie have participated in a deposition for the first time since Petito’s killing over two years ago. On Tuesday, Christopher Laundrie, Brian’s father, was deposed by the legal team representing Petito’s parents as part of the civil lawsuit filed against the Laundries and their attorney, Steven Bertolino. Petito’s parents, Joe Petito and Nichole Schmidt, described Christopher Laundrie’s testimony as “gut-wrenching” and expressed their disappointment in his lack of remorse and compassion. The depositions are expected to play a significant role in the civil trial scheduled for May 2024.
During the depositions, Christopher Laundrie, Roberta Laundrie, Joe Petito, Steven Bertolino, and various attorneys were present. Nichole Schmidt participated virtually over Zoom. Pat Reily, the attorney for Petito and Schmidt, conducted the questioning. The depositions mark the first opportunity for Petito and Schmidt to question the Laundries since Gabby’s death in August 2021.
In the weeks following Gabby’s disappearance, Petito and Schmidt publicly pleaded for Brian Laundrie and his parents’ assistance in locating her. However, their attempts to contact the Laundries through phone calls, texts, and social media messages went unanswered.
Roberta Laundrie is scheduled to be deposed on Wednesday, less than five months after the release of a letter she wrote to Brian before his cross-country trip with Petito. The letter, which offered a shovel and garbage bags, was released to the public and is now part of the discovery process for the civil trial.
The civil lawsuit, filed by Petito’s parents, accuses the Laundries and Bertolino of intentional infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit claims that the Laundries were aware of Petito’s murder shortly after her death but chose not to take any action beyond issuing a statement expressing hope for her safe return.
More depositions are scheduled, including with Brian Laundrie’s sister, Cassie, as both sides prepare for the trial in May 2024. The Laundries’ former attorney, Matthew Luka, has been replaced by Ryan Gilbert, who has not yet commented on the case.