Gabby Petito family's lawsuit against Laundrie family lists potential witnesses
NORTH PORT, Fla. - Lawyers representing the family of deceased Gabby Petito in their civil lawsuit against the family of deceased Brian Laundrie have released a list of witnesses they expect to testify in the case.
While the initial witness list is procedural and not indicative of which witnesses will formally testify in the event of a trial, it does highlight the general direction in which claimants plan to take the case.
The initial list includes Petito's parents, Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt; her stepparents, Tara Petito and James Schmidt; Brian Laundrie's parents, Chris and Roberta Laundrie; FBI representatives; and North Port Police Department representatives.
Laundrie family attorney Steven Bertolino described the expected witness list as a "wish list" told Fox News Digital that it is "not likely" the Laundries would testify.
GABBY PETITO UPDATE: PARENTS FILE LAWSUIT AGAINST LAUNDRIE FAMILY
The Petito family filed the lawsuit in March, alleging that Chris and Roberta Laundrie were aware that their son killed their daughter and attempted to help him flee justice while remaining silent about the pair's respective August 2021 and September 2021 disappearances.
Petito and Laundrie were traveling cross-country over the summer in Petito's van before her parents reported her missing on Sept. 11. Laundrie had returned to their North Port, Florida, home in Petito's van without her on Sept. 1. He and his parents did not share any information with law enforcement at the time and referred officials to their attorney.
"Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie exhibited extreme and outrageous conduct which constitutes behavior, under the circumstances, which goes beyond all possible bounds of decency and is regarded as shocking, atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community," the lawsuit alleges.
GABBY PETITO'S MOTHER FILES NEW LAWSUIT AGAINST ESTATE OF BRIAN LAUNDRIE
It continues: "As a direct and proximate result of the willfulness and maliciousness of Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie, Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt had been caused to suffer pain and suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, loss of capacity for enjoyment of life experienced in the past and to be experienced in the future."
"Assuming everything the Petitos allege in their lawsuit is true, which we deny, this lawsuit does not change the fact that the Laundries had no obligation to speak to Law Enforcement or any third-party including the Petito family. This fundamental legal principle renders the Petito’s claims to be baseless under the law," the Laundrie family attorney said.
The FBI found Petito's remains at a dispersed campground area within the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming on Sept. 19. Teton County Coroner Brent Blue later announced that she had died of homicide by strangulation three to four weeks before her remains were discovered.
BRIAN LAUNDRIE NOTEBOOK: GABBY PETITO'S KILLER CONFESSED IN WRITING BEFORE SUICIDE, FBI SAYS
Laundrie was subsequently listed as a person of interest in Petito's killing. The FBI, additionally, issued a warrant for Laundrie on debit card fraud charges. The FBI and local law enforcement officials focused their search for Laundrie in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park and T. Marby Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve in Florida, where his parents believe he went the last time they saw him on Sept. 13.
The FBI discovered Laundrie's remains and a note in Myakkahatchee Creek park in October. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and admitted to killing Petito in the note, the agency announced months later.
The FBI's investigation has not been formally closed.
Fox News' Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.