Petito and Laundrie Families Reach Settlement

It was a story that captivated the nation:  A young couple, engaged to be married, set out on a cross-country road trip that will forever be archived on YouTube, for all the world to see.

But then, tragedy struck.  Brian Laundrie suddenly returned home to Florida without his fiancee Gabby Petito, and refused to talk to authorities regarding her whereabouts.  When Petito’s body was finally found, Laundrie took off into a nearby swamp to end his life, leaving behind a note in a journal confessing to his crimes.

The lack of cooperation that Laundrie and his family provided to the Petito family was appalling to many, and a wrongful death lawsuit between the families has now been settled.

Loved ones of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie have agreed upon a $3 million settlement in connection with the Petito family’s wrongful death lawsuit filed against Laundrie’s estate, records show.

A final judgment made public Thursday ends a portion of the Petito-Schmidt family’s legal battle against Chris and Roberta Laundrie, whose son, 23-year-old Brian, took his own life in a Florida environmental park in 2021.

Patrick Reilly, an attorney for the Petito family, wrote in a prepared statement that the $3 million amount is “an arbitrary number,” but “whatever monies they do receive will help Gabby’s family in their endeavors with the Gabby Petito Foundation.”

The statement added: “The Gabby Petito Foundation will continue to address the needs of organizations that support locating missing persons and to provide aid to organizations that assist victims of domestic violence situations, through education, awareness, and prevention strategies. Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt wish to turn their personal tragedy into a positive. It is their hope that Gabby’s foundation will bring these important issues into the forefront of the public eye to the benefit of all our communities.”

And also:

“The Petito family lost their daughter, and they were also denied the opportunity to confront her killer,” the statement further reads. “No amount of money is sufficient to compensate the Petito family for the loss of their daughter, Gabby, at the hands of Brian Laundrie.”

And we’re sure that the Petito family will take any and all closure they can get.