Gabby Petito’s parents awarded $3m for wrongful death lawsuit taken against Brian Laundrie’s family

Gabby Petito’s parents have been awarded $3m for a wrongful death lawsuit taken against the family of Brian Laundrie.

The 22-year-old’s remains were found near the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on 19 September last year after a month-long, nationwide missing persons search that captured the attention of the country.

Investigators determined she had been strangled by Laundrie, who later admitted killing her in a confession note before taking his own life in a Florida swamp.

Petito’s parents sued Chris and Roberta Laundrie in May for malice and wrongful death and the case had been due to go to trial in December.

In a statement to, the Petito’s attorney Patrick Reilly said no amount of money could compensate the family for their heartbreak.

Mr Reilly said he was unsure if the family would receive the full $3m figure, and that any money received from the judgment would go towards the Gabby Petito Foundation.

Brian Laundrie murdered Gabby Petito and left her body in a shallow grave in Grand Teton National Park (EPA)
Brian Laundrie murdered Gabby Petito and left her body in a shallow grave in Grand Teton National Park (EPA)

The non-profit was set up by the Petito family to help the parents of missing children reunite with their loved ones, and help keep their beloved daughter’s legacy alive.

Petito and Laundrie set off in their converted campervan on a cross-country trip in July 2021 and had been documenting their travels on YouTube.

Petito’s parents reported her missing on 11 September after they couldn’t get in contact with her and Laundrie refused to say where she was.

Laundrie went on the run days later with his family telling police he was heading into the nature reserve close to their home.

On 19 September, Ms Petito’s remains were found in a Wyoming national park with her autopsy confirming that she had been strangled to death.

Weeks later on 20 October, Laundrie’s remains were found inside the Florida reserve.

The Petito family have also filed a $50m wrongful death lawsuit against Moab police, alleging an officer was “fundamentally biased” against her.

Police in Moab, Utah, pulled the couple over on 12 August after receiving a 911 call from a witness saying they had seen Laundrie hitting Petito.

The lawsuit accuses the police department, three Moab police officers and 10 other individuals of “negligent failure”.