An attorney for Gabby Petito’s family said that they may bring charges against “additional individuals,” in the case of the young girl’s murder. Could Brian Laundrie’s parents be charged?
Gabby Petito was strangled two months ago in Wyoming. The only person of interest in her case, boyfriend Brian Laundrie, went missing after her death and was later found on Oct. 20. It was recently discovered that the young man died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
In their statement, the attorney, Richard Stafford, said, “The family was asked to not make any comments and let the FBI continue their investigation. The family was also asked to wait for the United States Attorney’s Office to make a determination on whether any additional individuals will be charged. When that determination is made, we will have a statement.”
Gabby’s family has also not commented on Brian Laundrie’s cause of death.
Brian Laundrie was never charged with Gabby Petito’s murder, and for the entirety of the case he remained a person of interest for the crime. A suspect for the young girl’s murder has never been named by police.
Brian’s body was found by his parents in the wetlands of Florida’s Carlton Reserve. According to police reports, the remains were skeletal and it took two autopsies to determine a cause of death. The first examination by a medical examiner led to “inconclusive results.” Officers had to call in an anthropologist to figure out how the young man died.
After the discovery of the remains, the Laundrie’s lawyer, Steve Bertolino, released a statement and said, “Chris and Roberta Laundrie were at the reserve earlier today when human remains and some of Brian’s possessions were located in an area where they had initially advised law enforcement that Brian may be. Chris and Roberta will wait for the forensic identification of the human remains before making any additional comments.”
After Brian Laundrie’s parents found his remains, many people wondered if the couple had anything to do with his death or disappearance. During the five weeks that their son was missing, the parents did not help the investigation and seemed very secretive. Many accused them of hiding their fugitive son from law enforcement.
While the Laundries have not been named as “additional individuals,” many people are calling for them to face consequences for their lack of cooperation with law enforcement. If his parents did assist him when he was alive, they could face legal consequences now that a body has been found.
“Supposedly, within a very short period of time, they found not only a backpack and a notebook but his remains,” said criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos. “…That, to me, is going to reignite suspicion as to what their involvement may or may not have been.”
Former FBI agent, Stuart Kaplan, also said that Chris and Roberta Laundrie could be charged with obstruction of justice or lying to a federal agent if they knew of Laundrie’s location and decided to protect him the police.
During the investigation into Gabby Petito’s murder, it was alleged that Brian was abusive to her. Gabby’s parents, Nichole Schmidt and Joe Petito, said they never saw any red flags that their daughter was being abused.
They recently went on Dr. Oz, along with Gabby’s stepparents, to talk about their daughter’s tragic death. Her mother said, “I don’t know why Gabby didn’t open up to me about certain things.” Her stepmother said that she was angry with herself for not seeing the signs since she had been in an abusive relationship before getting together with Gabby’s dad.
Gabby Petito’s family set up a foundation to honor her memory. The goal of the foundation is to provide aid to organizations that help locate missing people. They also provide support, resources, and education to those in abusive relationships.