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Brian Laundrie's father was seen hiking solo in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park near the site where his son's skeletal remains were found, days after a judge ordered a civil suit against him by Gabby Petito's parents to be heard by a jury. 

On Friday morning Christopher Laundrie, 62, wearing sunglasses, shorts, a gray t-shirt, and green hat, appeared pensive as he walked along the rugged Florida trail holding a walking stick in the rare public sighting.


After the walk at the Big Slough Preserve, the elder Laundrie climbed into his red Dodge pick-up truck before driving off.   

Gabby Petito's mother Nichole Schmidt, 41 and father Joseph Petito, 42, won the right to sue  Brian Laundrie's parents, Christopher and Roberta.

They claim the couple secretly knew their son had murdered their daughter and helped him escape, while publicly expressing hope that Petito would be found safe.

On Friday morning Christopher Laundrie, 62, wearing sunglasses, shorts, a gray t-shirt, and green hat, appeared pensive as he walked along the rugged trail holding a walking stick in the rare public sighting.

After the walk at the Big Slough Preserve, the elder Laundrie climbed into his red Dodge pick-up truck before driving off

Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park is the location where Brian Laundrie's skeletal remains were found days. Christopher Laundrie returned to the site day after a judge ruled in favor of Gabby Petito's parents civil suit

Laundrie had killed his 21-year-old girlfriend in July 2021 after the couple set off in a van for a months long adventure across the US. 

The body of the young woman was later found in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming, with a confession found in his notebook. 

They were seen on police bodycam footage shot in Moab, Utah, weeks before following an argument in a van that turned violent, although cops ultimately let the couple go on their way.  

Laundrie had returned to his parents Florida home before disappearing and taking his own life in a Florida swamp as a massive manhunt ensued.

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The elder Laundrie and his wife Roberta, were ordered by a Florida judge to face a jury over a civil suit filed by Gabby Petito's parents.

The Florida judge ruled that the Laundrie's attorney, Steven Bertolino, made 'objectively outrageous' comments when he hoped Petito would be found alive

In the suit, the Petito's claim the Laundrie's and their lawyer were aware that their daughter was dead while they were still desperately searching for her.       

Patrick Reilly, the Petitos' lawyer, argued that Laundrie's attorney provided false hope and caused emotional distress when he made statements about the search last year while allegedly knowing Petito was dead, the Sun reported.

Bertolino had issued a statement at the time on behalf of the Laundrie family, saying in part: 'It is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is reunited with her family.'

Judge Hunter Carroll said Bertolino's comments allowed for Gabby's parents to seek $30,000 in damages against Christopher, 63, and Roberta Laundrie, 56.

'Because the Laundries' statement by their attorney in the context of the unique faces of this case is objectively outrageous, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs [Petitos] have stated causes of actions for intentional infliction of emotional distress against the Laundries,' Carroll wrote in his decision.

 Nichole and Joseph filed a lawsuit against the Laundries, claiming they knew their son had murdered Petito, 22, after he returned alone from their cross country van trip.

Reilly told Sarasota County Court, Florida: 'This is case not simply about the silence of Robert and Christopher Laundrie who knew their son had brutally murdered Gabby Petito.'

He said it also wasn't about their 'callous refusal despite pleas from the Petito family' to speak out about whether not Gabby was alive – or if she wasn't the location of her body.

'It's about a course of conduct that they committed from when they learned on August 28, 2021 that their son had brutally murdered Gabby Petito,' he said.

Carroll appeared to agree with Reilly when he threw out the Laundrie's request to dismiss the lawsuit, saying their action's did not help the desperate Petitos.

'If the facts of this case truly were about silence with no affirmative act by the Laundries, the Court would have resolved this case in the Laundries' favor on the concept of legal duty,' the judge noted, 'but they did not stay silent.'

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Georgia Governor Kemp to Headline Cherokee County Breakfast on Saturday

Governor Brian Kemp (R) will be the featured speaker at Cherokee County GOP’s August breakfast on Saturday, an event which will also include State Senator Kay Kirkpatrick (R-Marietta) and Georgia State School Superintendent Richard Woods.

“I am excited to join hardworking Georgians in Cherokee County this weekend! Every day, Georgians and Americans are witnessing the failure of the Biden Administration and Democrats in Washington, but make no mistake: their failed policies are Stacey Abrams’ agenda for Georgia,” Kemp told The Georgia Star News on Tuesday.

The breakfast will be from 8:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Guston’s Grille in Woodstock.

“From now through Election Day, Marty, the girls, and I will work tirelessly to protect our state’s record economic success and ensure Georgia remains the best place in the country to live, work, and raise a family,” Kemp said.

Cherokee County Republican Party Chairman James Dvorak told The Star News that people who wish to attend can sign up for the breakfast in advance at the party’s website.

“We have a breakfast coming up with the governor this Saturday the 13th. We’re going to have Governor Brian Kemp, Senator Kay Kirkpatrick and State School Superintendent Richard Woods will all be speaking at our monthly breakfast at Guston’s Grille on Highway 92. Folks can go to our website to register for the breakfast if they wish to attend,” Dvorak said.

The meal will include scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, fruit, a biscuit, and beverage. Additionally, people can order just a drink if preferred.

“Come join us at this informative Saturday morning Breakfast event! We’ve got a great line-up of Guest Speakers! Feel free to bring guests. We hope to see you there,” the Cherokee County GOP said. 

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 Addison Basurto is a reporter at The Georgia Star News and The Star News Network. Follow Addy on Twitter and GETTR. Email tips/inquiries to [email protected]
Photo “Brian Kemp” by Governor Brian Kemp.


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