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6 Crucial Questions About Gabby Petito's Murder That The Trial Of Brian Laundrie's Parents Could Answer

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Gabby Petito, Brian Laundrie

Brian Laundrie’s parents had their first court hearing Wednesday afternoon for a lawsuit against them by the parents of Gabby Petito for damages related to her death.

A lawyer for Chris and Roberta Laundrie, who were not present in court, put forward a motion to dismiss the case. A judge is expected to decide whether the case, which was taken by Gabby’s parents Joe Petito and Nicole Schmidt, will move to trial in two weeks.

RELATED: Brian Laundrie’s Parents ‘Knew Where Her Body Was,’ According To Lawyer In Gabby Petito Case

The lawsuit, originally filed in March, accuses Chris and Roberta Laundrie of “intentional infliction of emotional distress,” claiming the Laundries were aware Brian murdered Gabby and chose not to act.

If the case moves forward, the trial will be the first time the Petito family has had an opportunity to seek justice for their daughter who was killed by Brian before his suicide death.

It may also be a chance for those who followed the highly publicized case to resolve the many mysteries surrounding Gabby’s death.

Here are 6 unanswered questions about Gabby Petito’s death:

1. What did Brian Laundrie tell his parents?

It is known that Brian returned to his parents’ North Port, Florida home on September 1 without Gabby. 

The family then went on a camping trip Fort De Soto Campground from September 6 through September 8, all while Gabby’s mother says she was attempting to contact Roberta and Brian Laundrie about her daughter.

Schmidt then reported her daughter missing on September 11 and by the time police visited the Laundrie’s home that night, the family had already consulted a lawyer.

RELATED: Brian Laundrie’s Lawyer Says Parents Knew Their Son Was ‘Grieving’ A Week Before Gabby Petito Was Confirmed Dead

Brian did not leave his family’s home until September 13, meaning for at least two days Roberta and Chris Laundrie knew Gabby had gone missing while on a trip with their son.

The case may reveal what exactly Brian told his parents about where Gabby was during this time.

Gabby’s family believes Brian’s parents knew about her death within a day of him returning home.

“It is believed, and therefore averred that… Brian Laundrie advised his parents, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie, that he had murdered Gabrielle Petito,” the lawsuit states. “On that same date, Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie spoke with Attorney Steve Bertolino, and sent him a retainer on Sept. 2, 2021.”

2. Did Brian Laundrie’s parents try to help him flee?

In their lawsuit, Gabby’s parents accuse the Laundries of “making arrangements for him to leave the country.”

Evidence to support this claim may be presented in the trial. However, nothing to this effect has been made public yet.

What we do know is that the Laundries offered conflicting timelines of their son’s disappearance.

On September 17, after not cooperating with the investigation, Chris and Roberta called the police to their home and informed them that they had not seen Brian since September 14.

For three weeks, authorities followed this timeline until the Laundries later claimed their son had actually left home on September 13.

This confused timeline has added to the theory that the Laundries were attempting to buy time for their son to flee however there is no substantial evidence of this available as of yet.

3. Why did Brian Laundrie’s parents not speak to the police?

If they testify, Chris and Roberta Laundrie may finally have to answer why they did not speak to authorities investigating Gabby’s disappearance and death.

Their lawyer has consistently claimed that their right to remain silent is protected under the U.S. constitution.

RELATED: If You Were Brian Laundrie's Parent, Would You Turn Him In? The Psychological Reason Why It's Complicated

“As I have maintained over the last several months, the Laundries have not publicly commented at my direction, which is their right under the law,” Bertolino said in March.

“Assuming everything the Petitos allege in their lawsuit is true, which we deny, this lawsuit does not change the fact that the Laundries had no obligation to speak to law enforcement or any third-party, including the Petito family. This fundamental legal principle renders the Petitos’ claims to be baseless under the law.”

4. Did Brian Laundrie’s parents know where to find him?

Another odd part of the case revolves around the eventual discovery of Brian’s remains on October 20.

Items belonging to Brian and his remains were found on the same day his parents first joined the search for their son, despite the FBI searching the reserve for weeks prior.

This evidence was found in an area that had previously been underwater, according to authorities, and the Laundries had reportedly already altered investigators to some of the son’s favorite hiking trails.

5. What was in Brian Laundrie’s notebook?

In January, an investigation into Gabby’s death concluded that Brian had strangled her based partially on evidence found in a notebook that was retrieved near his remains.

The FBI disclosed that Brian wrote statements that claimed responsibility for Gabby’s death but the exact contents of the notebook have never been revealed.

6. What was Brian Laundrie’s motive for killing Gabby Petito?

The moments leading up to Brian strangling Gabby still remain unclear.

It is known that Gabby and Brian had been involved in at least one other domestic dispute as they were pulled over in Moab, Utah on August 12 following an altercation.

A witness claimed Brian was seen hitting Gabby but police later labeled her the primary aggressor.

Another witness claims to have seen the couple arguing in a Wyoming restaurant shortly before Gabby was killed.

The trial could reveal more about the nature of these incidents and what lead to Gabby’s murder.

RELATED: 30 Important Domestic Violence Lessons To Learn From The Gabby Petito Brian Laundrie Case

Alice Kelly is YourTango’s Deputy News and Entertainment Editor. Based in Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest. Keep up with her Twitter for more.

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