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Settlement reached between Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie families

Petito was killed as she and her boyfriend Laundrie, who later admitted responsibility for her death in a note, were on a cross-country road trip in 2021.
/ Source: NBC News

The parents of slain New York woman Gabby Petito say they have reached a settlement in their suit against the parents of Brian Laundrie, the man who admitted responsibility for her death, as well as his parents’ attorney.

Details of the resolution of the emotional distress case were not disclosed. It came “after a long day of mediation,” the parents of Petito said in a statement released by their attorney Feb. 21.

“All parties reluctantly agreed in order to avoid further legal expenses and prolonged personal conflict,” Petito’s parents, Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt, said in the statement.

“Our hope is to close this chapter of our lives to allow us to move on and continue to honor the legacy of our beautiful daughter, Gabby,” they said.

Gabby Petito, 22, of Blue Point, New York, was killed as she and Laundrie were on a cross-country road trip in their van in 2021. Gabby Petito had documented their trip online.

Laundrie was a “person of interest” in her killing, and after he later died by suicide, a note was found in which he claimed responsibility, officials said.

Gabby Petito vanished in August of that year, and suspicion fell on Laundrie, 23, after he returned for Florida in the van without her.

Petito’s body was found in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming on Sept. 19, and Laundrie disappeared and was found dead in a swampy part of Florida on Oct. 20.

He killed himself and in writings that were found said he was responsible for Petito’s death, the FBI later said.

Petito’s parents then sued Laundrie’s parents and their lawyer, Steven Bertolino, for intentional and reckless infliction of emotional distress.

The Petitos alleged in the suit that Laundrie’s parents and Bertolino knew Petito was dead but lied to them and the public by issuing messages of hope that she’d be found.

Bertolino did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday night.

He told NBC affiliate WFLA of Tampa that the civil suit has been settled.

“Christopher and Roberta Laundrie and I participated in mediation with the Petito family and the civil lawsuit has now been resolved,” Bertolino said in a statement to the station. “The terms of the resolution are confidential, and we look forward to putting this matter behind us.”

A wrongful death lawsuit was previously settled and a judge awarded the Petito family $3 million in 2022.

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