The estate of the late Brian Laundrie—the 23-year-old who killed his fiance, Gabby Petito, in August during a cross-country road trip before dying by suicide—must pay Petito’s parents $3 million, according to a settlement reached after her parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
Petito’s parents, Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt, filed the lawsuit in May, asking for monetary compensation over the wrongful death of their 22-year-old daughter, saying that along with burial and funeral expenses, the parents had “suffered a loss of care and comfort” and Petito’s future companionship, according to the lawsuit.
The lawyer representing Petito’s family, Patrick J. Reilly, noted in a statement to Forbes that Laundrie did not have $3 million before he died, and that it’s an “arbitrary number.”
Whatever money can be awarded will go toward the Gabby Petito Foundation, which Petito’s family started in her name to support organizations that work with missing persons cases and domestic violence situations.
No amount of money is “sufficient” to compensate the Petito family for the loss of their daughter, Reilly told Forbes, saying that not only did they lose their daughter, but also that they were “denied the opportunity to confront her killer.”
Reilly noted this settlement will not affect a separate lawsuit filed in March against Laundrie’s parents, Christopher and Roberta Laundrie, by Petito’s parents, who claim the Laundries knew he had murdered Petito and were attempting to help him flee as investigators searched for Petito.
A lawyer representing the Laundries did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes.
Earlier this month, Petito’s family filed a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit against the police department in Moab, Utah, saying that officers who pulled over Petito and Laundrie for a domestic disturbance call just weeks before her death could have saved her life.
Petito was first reported missing on September 11, 2021, ten days after Laundrie returned home alone from what was meant to be a cross-country road trip taken by the couple. Petito’s parents say the last time they heard from Gabby was August 25, and believe text messages sent from her phone for five following days were actually sent by Laundrie pretending to be Petito. On September 14, Laundrie left his parents’ home to go hiking in Florida, and was reported missing after not returning home for three days. After nearly a week of searching, Petito’s body was found in Wyoming on September 18. Her death was ruled a homicide and a coroner said she died by strangulation. In mid-October, Laundrie’s body was found dead by suicide with a gunshot wound in his head. The FBI said that a journal found near his corpse contained entries in which he claimed responsibility for Petito’s death.