Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito appear in an undated photo made available...

Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito appear in an undated photo made available by the North Port, Fla., Police Department. Credit: EPA-EFE / Shutterstock / North Port Police Department / HANDOUT

An attorney for the parents of deceased murder suspect Brian Laundrie on Wednesday sought to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the parents of slain Blue Point native Gabby Petito, who claimed the couple knew their son killed his then-fiancee and tried to help him flee the country.

In a motion filed Wednesday in Sarasota County, Florida, court, Tampa-based attorney P. Matthew Luka, of the firm Trombley & Hanes, called the lawsuit filed earlier this month by a lawyer for Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt — the parents of Gabby Petito — “inartfully drafted” and “not legally sustainable.” He asked that it be dismissed with prejudice, meaning the claims could not be resubmitted to the court.

Petito’s parents, in their lawsuit seeking a jury trial and damages in excess of $100,000, said Roberta and Christopher Laundrie, of North Port, Florida, acted with "malice and great indifference" to the rights of Petito's parents and caused them pain and suffering and mental anguish because of the Laundries’ “willfulness and maliciousness.”

Longtime Laundrie family attorney and spokesman Steven Bertolino called the lawsuit "baseless and frivolous" and said in a statement Wednesday: "The Laundries have exercised their constitutional right to refrain from speaking and have relied on counsel to speak for them."

He added: "This is not only common practice in our civilized society but it embodies the exercise of fundamental rights under the United States and Florida constitutions. The Laundries’ rights are inalienable and the Laundries can never be liable for exercising their legal rights in a permissible way.”

The Venice, Florida-based attorney for Petito’s parents, Patrick J. Reilly, did not respond to a message seeking comment late Wednesday.

The FBI, in a statement released in January, said that Brian Laundrie took "responsibility" for Petito's death in written statements inside a notebook found near his body after he died by suicide, but did not release the notebook's contents. The FBI has not publicly accused Laundrie's parents of any wrongdoing.

The Petito family lawsuit, while not offering evidence to substantiate its claims, said “that on or about Aug. 28, 2021, Brian Laundrie advised his parents Christopher and Roberta Laundrie, that he had murdered Gabrielle Petito.”

Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie departed Long Island in July on a cross-country trip in Petito’s white van. She last communicated with her family by phone on Aug. 27, 2021 — the day Petito's family believes Laundrie killed their daughter, according to the lawsuit.

After Petito's death, according to the suit, Laundrie "sent text messages back and forth" between his cellphone and Petito's "in an effort to hide the fact that she was deceased."

According to the lawsuit, Laundrie sent a message to Schmidt from Petito's phone on Aug. 30 saying there was no cellular service in Yosemite National Park "in an effort to deceive" Petito's mother "into believing that Gabrielle Petito was still alive."

On Sept. 1, Laundrie returned home to Florida in Petito's white van, but refused to speak to police. Nine days later, according to the lawsuit, Roberta Laundrie blocked Schmidt from calling, texting or attempting to contact her on social media. Schmidt reported her daughter missing to Suffolk County police the next day, which launched a nationwide search for the then-though-to-be-missing young woman.

Laundrie himself disappeared amid the search for Petito and was formally reported missing on Sept. 17 by his parents after leaving their home days earlier to go on a hike at a nearby nature reserve and not returning.

Authorities searched the area, which was heavily flooded, for several days without finding Laundrie, but his skeletal remains were discovered on Oct. 20 by police off a hiking trail at the T. Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve and Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in North Port.

Police, who had been searching with Laundrie’s parents, also recovered on Oct. 20, a backpack and notebook belonging to Laundrie as well as a handgun. Authorities said Laundrie died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Petito's body was found Sept. 19 in a national forest in Wyoming "near where she and Brian Laundrie had been seen together," the FBI has said. The Teton County Coroner's Office said Petito died as a result of "blunt-force injuries to the head and neck and manual strangulation."

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