Gabby Petito’s parents are now suing Steven Bertolino, the attorney representing Brian Laundrie’s parents. The family has alleged that the lawyer knew their daughter was dead during the search for her in September 2021.

Gabby, 22, was strangled on a road trip in Wyoming with Brian, 23, last summer. Her body was found in September 2021 and her death was ruled a homicide by manual strangulation and blunt-force trauma to the head and neck.

A month later, Brian was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Brian had penned a confession that was found near his body.

“I ended her life,” the note said. “I thought it was merciful, that is what she wanted, but I see now all the mistakes I made. I panicked. I was in shock.”

In September 2021, Bertolino said that the Laundrie family hoped “that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is reunited with her family.” Gabby’s parents said in a statement released on Tuesday that Bertolino knew Gabby was deceased when he said that.

“Under those circumstances, the statement was insensitive, cold-hearted and outrageous.”

Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt originally filed a civil lawsuit against Laundrie’s parents, Christopher and Roberta Laundrie, accusing them of knowing that Brian murdered Gabby and attempting to help Brian flee the authorities. The suit said Laundrie’s parents displayed “extreme and outrageous conduct” after the murder, which Bertolino dismissed at the time.

The families agreed on a $3 million settlement last month. Gabby’s parents have also filed a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit against the Moab Police Department in Utah that states that the officers failed to properly handle a domestic violence call involving Brian and Gabby. Weeks before her death, a witness alleged that he saw Brian hitting Gabby and trying to steal her phone in downtown Moab. A lawyer for Gabby’s family, Brian Stewart, called the officers “negligent.”

“Had the officers involved had training to implement proper lethality assessment and to recognize the obvious indicators of abuse, it would have been clear to them that Gabby was a victim of intimate partner violence and needed immediate protection,” Swart said in a statement.

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