A judge in Sarasota County, Florida, ruled in favor of Gabby Petito’s family in a wrongful death lawsuit against Brian Laundrie’s estate on Thursday.
The final verdict awards $3 million to Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt, as trustee of Petito’s estate.
“The Petito family lost their daughter and were also denied the opportunity to confront her killer,” Patrick Reilly, attorney for Petito’s parents, said in a statement to CNN. “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 didn’t have $3 million; it is a random number. Whatever money they receive will help Gabby’s family in their efforts with the Gabby Petito Foundation.
The trial scheduled for December has been canceled, Reilly said. The trustee of Laundrie’s estate did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
“Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt want to turn their personal tragedy into something positive. It is their hope that Gabby’s foundation will bring these important issues to the forefront of the public eye for the benefit of all of our communities,” Reilly said.
Gabby Petito, 22, was at the center of a nationwide search last year when she was reported missing after embarking on a cross-country trip with Laundrie, her fiancé.
Petito’s remains were found in September in Teton County, Wyoming, just over a week after her family reported her missing. She died of strangulation, the coroner ruled.
Laundrie returned to the couple’s home alone on September 1, left again about two weeks later, and disappeared. Laundrie’s body was later found in the area of a Florida wildlife preserve near his home in Sarasota County and a medical examiner ruled that he died by suicide.
Nearby, authorities found a notebook in which they said Laundrie claimed responsibility for Petito’s death.
Petito’s family also filed a lawsuit against Christopher and Roberta Laundrie in May, alleging they knew their son killed Brian Petito, knew “where her body was,” and were working to help him flee the country, CNN reported. earlier.