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THE parents of Brian Laundrie have revealed new information on what they knew about Gabby Petito’s disappearance.
In a recent deposition, Chris and Roberta Laundrie spoke about the call they got from their son, Brian Laundrie, on August 29, 2021, two days after Gabby Petito, 22, disappeared.
During the deposition for a civil case against Brian’s family for intentional infliction of emotional distress, his parents described the “frantic” phone call they received from their son.
Gabby was last seen alive in Jackson, Wyoming on August 27, 2021.
Chris and Roberta said that Brian called them on August 29, 2021 and told them that Gabby was “gone” and he needed a lawyer.
Brian’s parents did not admit that they knew that Gabby was dead, only that Brian said that she was “gone,” according to Petito family attorney Pat Reilly, who spoke with local NBC affiliate WFLA.
Chris and Roberta relayed the information to lawyer Steven Bertolino on September 2 and sent him a retainer fee, court documents said.
On the same day, Bertolino entered a fee agreement with Fleener Peterson LLC on Brian’s behalf, according to the docs which were filed last week.
The Wyoming law firm was six hours from where Gabby’s remains were eventually found.
Tom Fleener, a partner in the firm, was profiled in GQ after notably representing Guantanamo Bay detainee Ali al Bahlul, who was alleged to have assisted Osama Bin Laden.
The U.S. Sun’s efforts to reach Fleener for further comment were unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, Reilly has filed a motion to get Bertolino to reveal exactly what Brian told him about Gabby’s disappearance.
A hearing about the motion will be held on December 20, when it’s expected to be decided if attorney-client privilege for Bertolino and Brian will be upheld.
The civil case centers on a statement the Laundries made through their attorney on September 14, 2021, saying that they were hopeful Gabby would be found and reunited with her family.
The civil case against the Laundries is set to go to trial in May 2024.
The Petitos are reportedly willing to consider a settlement “under the right terms,” Reilly told News Nation on Monday.
The U.S. Sun has reached out to the families of Gabby and Brian for comment.
Bertolino has refused to comment on the matter.
Gabby was on a road trip with her fiancé Brian when she went missing in August 2021.
The two were traveling from New York to Oregon, a trip they had planned for a long time.
Gabby’s parents lost contact with her, prompting them to file a missing persons report on September 11, 2021.
Her remains were found on September 19, 2021 and Teton County coroner Dr. Brent Blue ruled her death a homicide.
She had been strangled to death.
Brian was a person of interest in her death after he came home to Florida without his fiancée.
He died by suicide and his remains were found at the Carlton Reserve.
Along with his body, a notebook was discovered that appeared to contain a confession.
“I ended her life,” a line from the notebook read.
“I thought it was merciful, that it is what she wanted, but I see now all the mistakes I made. I panicked. I was in shock. But from the moment I decided, took away her pain, I knew I couldn’t go on without her.”
Gabby’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Brian’s estate in May 2022, saying that he was liable for damages because he caused her death.
The families reached a $3 million settlement.
“The Petito family lost their daughter, and they were also denied the opportunity to confront her killer,” Reilly, attorney for Petito’s parents, said in a statement at the time.
“No amount of money is sufficient to compensate the Petito family for the loss of their daughter, Gabby, at the hands of Brian Laundrie. Brian did not have $3 million; it’s an arbitrary number.
“Whatever monies they do receive will help Gabby’s family in their endeavors with the Gabby Petito Foundation.”