Gabby Petito's parents launch $50 million lawsuit against Utah police

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By Nasima Khatun

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The parents of 22-year-old Gabby Petito have launched a substantial lawsuit against the Moab police department in Utah just over a year after the tragic death of their daughter.

The $50 million lawsuit filed on Thursday alleged that Petito would still be alive today if the police handled the initial interaction with herself and her fiancé, Brain Laundrie, 23, with more stern action.

"The family would like me to emphasize that the purpose of this lawsuit is to honor Gabby's legacy by demanding accountability and working through change in the system to protect victims of domestic abuse and violence and prevent such tragedies in the future," the family's attorney, James W. McConkie, said during a recent press conference, per NBC News.

On August 12, 2021, Petito and Laundrie were stopped by Moab police while traveling around Utah together in their van. It was alleged that eyewitnesses saw Landrie strike Petito and this was later confirmed by the 22-year-old when she was being questioned by the officers that arrived at the scene.

Check out the full bodycam footage of the stop below:

Even though Petito appeared to be pretty shaken up on the body cam footage released by the department, no further action was taken. However, just a few weeks later, Petito's body was discovered on the edge of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming with evidence that she had been strangled.

After a highly publicized murder case was launched, Laundrie became the prime suspect in a nation-wise manhunt but was later found dead due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

According to NBC News, the wrongful death lawsuit launched by Petito's parents seeks $50 million in damages from the police department in Moab for their alleged part in their daughter's death.

The outlet reported that "it [the lawsuit] lays blame for Petito’s death on the city’s police officers, who did not issue a domestic violence citation."

"In doing so, the lawsuit alleges officers disregarded signs of violence they should have been trained to notice."

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Credit: Instagram

During the press conference on Thursday, emotional members of the Petito family gathered to honor their loved one with snapshots taken from her Instagram, showing her smiling while she was traveling around the state.

"There are laws put in place to protect victims," Petito's mom, Nicole Schmidt said. "And those laws were not followed. And we don’t want this to happen to anybody else."

Moab city spokesperson, Lisa Adams, responded to the filing of the lawsuit with a statement stating that even though Petito's death was tragic, it was not the department's fault.

"Our officers acted with kindness, respect, and empathy toward Ms. Petito," she said. "No one could have predicted the tragedy that would occur weeks later and hundreds of miles away, and the City of Moab will ardently defend against this lawsuit."

Featured Image Credit: REUTERS / Alamy

Gabby Petito's parents launch $50 million lawsuit against Utah police

vt-author-image

By Nasima Khatun

Article saved!Article saved!

The parents of 22-year-old Gabby Petito have launched a substantial lawsuit against the Moab police department in Utah just over a year after the tragic death of their daughter.

The $50 million lawsuit filed on Thursday alleged that Petito would still be alive today if the police handled the initial interaction with herself and her fiancé, Brain Laundrie, 23, with more stern action.

"The family would like me to emphasize that the purpose of this lawsuit is to honor Gabby's legacy by demanding accountability and working through change in the system to protect victims of domestic abuse and violence and prevent such tragedies in the future," the family's attorney, James W. McConkie, said during a recent press conference, per NBC News.

On August 12, 2021, Petito and Laundrie were stopped by Moab police while traveling around Utah together in their van. It was alleged that eyewitnesses saw Landrie strike Petito and this was later confirmed by the 22-year-old when she was being questioned by the officers that arrived at the scene.

Check out the full bodycam footage of the stop below:

Even though Petito appeared to be pretty shaken up on the body cam footage released by the department, no further action was taken. However, just a few weeks later, Petito's body was discovered on the edge of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming with evidence that she had been strangled.

After a highly publicized murder case was launched, Laundrie became the prime suspect in a nation-wise manhunt but was later found dead due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

According to NBC News, the wrongful death lawsuit launched by Petito's parents seeks $50 million in damages from the police department in Moab for their alleged part in their daughter's death.

The outlet reported that "it [the lawsuit] lays blame for Petito’s death on the city’s police officers, who did not issue a domestic violence citation."

"In doing so, the lawsuit alleges officers disregarded signs of violence they should have been trained to notice."

size-large wp-image-1263176220
Credit: Instagram

During the press conference on Thursday, emotional members of the Petito family gathered to honor their loved one with snapshots taken from her Instagram, showing her smiling while she was traveling around the state.

"There are laws put in place to protect victims," Petito's mom, Nicole Schmidt said. "And those laws were not followed. And we don’t want this to happen to anybody else."

Moab city spokesperson, Lisa Adams, responded to the filing of the lawsuit with a statement stating that even though Petito's death was tragic, it was not the department's fault.

"Our officers acted with kindness, respect, and empathy toward Ms. Petito," she said. "No one could have predicted the tragedy that would occur weeks later and hundreds of miles away, and the City of Moab will ardently defend against this lawsuit."

Featured Image Credit: REUTERS / Alamy