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Gabby Petito’s mom forgives killer Brian Laundrie but calls out ‘evil’ Roberta: ‘You deserve to be forgotten’

In World
June 01, 2024

NASHVILLE — Gabby Petito’s mother Nichole Schmidt shocked a packed auditorium Friday when she said she forgave Brian Laundrie, her daughter’s boyfriend and suspected killer.

“I speak for myself here when I say Brian, I forgive you,” she said. “I needed to release myself from the chains of anger and bitterness, and I refuse to let your despicable act define the rest of my life.”

But she unleashed on Laundrie’s mom, Roberta.

“You do not deserve forgiveness,” she said. “You deserve to be forgotten.”

GABBY PETITO’S PARENTS REACH SETTLEMENT WITH LAUNDRIE FAMILY AND ATTORNEY STEVE BERTOLINO IN FLORIDA LAWSUIT

Nichole Schmidt on stage at CrimeCon 2024

Nichole Schmidt delivers remarks during a panel session Friday at CrimeCon 2024 in Nashville, Tenn.

Schmidt, who never had the chance to face her daughter’s killer in court because he ran into a swamp and took his own life after police launched a missing person investigation, read a victim’s impact statement to a crowd at CrimeCon 2024 in Nashville, Tennessee.

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“As for you, Roberta, and I call you out individually because you are evidently the mastermind that shattered your family and mine with your evil ways, I see no empathy in your eyes,” Schmidt said. “No remorse in your heart and no willingness to take responsibility for your actions.”

Roberta Laundrie walks to her car outside of her Florida home.

Roberta Laundrie unlocks her car in her driveway in North Port, Fla., on Oct. 11, 2023. The parents of the late Brian Laundrie, who is believed to have murdered Gabby Petito, are heading to a deposition ahead of a civil suit being brought by Petito’s family.

Roberta Laundrie drove to her deposition in a civil lawsuit in the same car her son snuck away in the night he shot himself rather than cooperate with law enforcement trying to find Petito, whose remains were not found until days later.

Both of Laundrie’s parents conceded in depositions that they had concerns about Petito’s welfare after speaking with him in erratic phone calls shortly after her murder.

Petito’s parents alleged the Laundries knew about the murder and tried to conceal it and help their son evade justice.

The sides settled their lawsuit earlier this year.

BRIAN LAUNDRIE’S PARENTS ADMIT BEING WORRIED ABOUT GABBY PETITO’S WELL-BEING WHEN HE CALLED DAYS AFTER MURDER

Gabby Petito poses in front of a blue and white mural of flowers while looking over her shoulder

22-year-old Gabby Petito from Long Island, N.Y., was reported missing by her family after her fiancé returned home alone from a cross-country road trip the two had embarked on in early July 2021.

Schmidt also mourned her daughter as a “bright light” snuffed out too early, a talented artist, and a tenacious free spirit.

“I implore you all, live by these simple words directly from Gabby: ‘Just be a nicer person,’” she concluded.

Tara Petito, Gabby’s stepmother, was also among the speakers. She ripped into Laundrie’s behavior after the murder.

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Tara Petito delivers remarks during a panel session at CrimeCon 2024 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Tara Petito reads a victim’s impact statement that she never got to make in court because her stepdaughter’s suspected killer, Brian Laundrie, took his own life rather than face justice.

He drove home from Wyoming, where he abandoned Petito’s remains, and went camping with his parents, sister and her children, eating s’mores around a campfire as the victim’s family struggled to piece together what happened and where she was.

“Only someone with true evil in their heart would do such a thing,” she said.

Although the Laundrie parents denied knowledge of the crime, they had sent a $25,000 retainer to a leading Wyoming defense lawyer.

When their son’s remains were discovered in a park near their home in October 2021, he was the only suspect in Petito’s murder. The FBI also recovered a handwritten confession preserved in a waterproof bag.

BRIAN LAUNDRIE HIRED WYOMING LAWYER WHO DEFENDED BIN LADEN BODYGUARD IN GUANTANAMO

Chris and Roberta Laundrie at Myakkahatchee

Chris and Roberta Laundrie in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on the morning police discovered their son’s skeletal remains.

Petito’s disappearance in the late summer of 2021 garnered international attention. She had been chronicling a cross-country road trip on social media as she made her way through National Parks with Laundrie.

Her posts stopped shortly after a domestic violence incident in Utah, in which police were called but no one was arrested.

GABBY PETITO CASE: BRIAN LAUNDRIE’S MOTHER PROMISED SON SHOVEL, GARBAGE BAG, JAILHOUSE CAKE IN LOVE LETTER

Petito’s family started a charity in her honor, the Gabby Petito Foundation, to fight domestic violence and advocate for missing persons around the country.

Brian Laundrie talks to cops

Brian Laundrie as seen in police bodycam footage released by the Moab Police Department in Utah during a domestic violence stop. Police split the couple up for the night, but just two weeks later, Laundrie is believed to have strangled his then-girlfriend Gabby Petito at a remote Wyoming campsite.

They have lobbied for federal legislation, some of which became law last year with bipartisan support, as well as lethality assessment laws in Florida, Utah and New York.

The foundation donated $100,000 to the National Domestic Violence Hotline last year.

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If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic violence, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 (SAFE).

Original article source: Gabby Petito’s mom forgives killer Brian Laundrie but calls out ‘evil’ Roberta: ‘You deserve to be forgotten’

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