Gabby Petito’s family requests Laundrie family’s texts with Brian

Posted at 8:00 AM, June 16, 2023 and last updated 9:02 PM, June 16, 2023


SARASOTA, Fla. (Court TV) – In decisions filed on Wednesday in Sarasota County, Judge Danielle Brewer denied motions from Brian Laundrie‘s parents and their former attorney to dismiss lawsuits against them filed by Gabby Petito‘s family.

Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito

FILE – This Aug. 12, 2021, file photo from video provided by the Moab, Utah, Police Department shows Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito talking to police officers after police pulled over their van near the entrance to Arches National Park in Utah. (The Moab Police Department via AP)

Petito’s family filed a civil lawsuit against the Laundries alleging that they knew Brian killed Gabby, but remained silent during a national search for her. Neither Christopher nor Roberta Laundrie has been charged criminally relating to Gabby’s death and disappearance.

Both the Laundries and their former attorney, Steve Bertolino, had each filed motions seeking to have the complaints against them dismissed, but Judge Brewer found both cases had enough merit to move forward to a jury trial, which was scheduled for May 13, 2024.

RELATED: ‘Burn After Reading’ Letter: Dramatic Reading

Laundrie "burn after reading" letter.

Roberta Laundrie was ordered by a judge to turn the so-called “burn after reading” letter over to Gabby Petito’s family.

At the May hearing, Judge Brewer ruled that a “burn after reading” note that Roberta sent Brian should be turned over to the Petito family. The letter was subsequently released to the public, and revealed that Roberta offered to bring her son a shovel to get rid of a body and to bake a cake with a shiv in it, should he be in jail.

In a new motion filed Wednesday, the Petito family is requesting that the Laundries produce all messages they exchanged with Brian over text and other messaging apps, including Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, between August 27, 2021, through his death. The filing requests the messages be turned over within 30 days.

Gabby Petito’s remains were found in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park on Sept. 19, 2021. Brian is believed to have strangled Gabby before leaving her body and driving to his parent’s home in Florida. Brian’s body was found at a Florida park on Oct. 20, 2021, after he shot himself.