VENICE -- The attorney who represented the suspect in Gabby Petito's murder now faces a Florida lawsuit filed by her parents.
A Sarasota circuit judge says Joseph Petito and Nicole Schmidt may add Steven Bertolino to the suit they've filed against Brian Laundrie's parents, Christopher and Roberta Laundrie. Bertolino represented all three after Petito's disappearance was reported in September of 2021.
Petito and Schmidt claim that Bertolino caused them pain by issuing a statement expressing the hope that Petito was still alive, when they allege, Bertolino and the Laundries knew she was dead.
Petito and Laundrie had been traveling across the country in a van. Laundrie returned at the beginning of September 2021 without Petito. Her parents in New York state filed a missing person's report. Petito's body was found in late September of 2021 in Wyoming. Laundrie's body was found in a nature preserve in Sarasota County the following month, apparently after committing suicide. The FBI later revealed that Laundrie had left behind a note in his notebook confessing to the murder.
Watch the YouTube video of the hearing and aftermath below.
Photo: Canva/North Port Police