This information is part of the latest amended complaint filed in the lawsuit by Petito's family against Laundrie's parents and their attorney.
The lawsuit, brought forward by Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt, accuses Chris and Roberta Laundrie and their attorney Steve Bertolino of knowing about Petito's death and the location of her remains. The complaint alleges that they gave Petito's parents false hope of her being found alive while trying to protect their son, causing severe emotional distress.
According to the document filed on Thursday, Laundrie informed his parents in a frantic phone call on August 29 that Gabby was "gone" and he needed a lawyer. On September 2, Laundrie's parents relayed this information to Bertolino and sent him a retainer.
The document states that Bertolino entered into a fee agreement with Fleener Peterson LLC, a criminal defense firm in Laramie, Wyoming, on the same day. This location is a six-hour drive from where Petito's remains were found. Petito had been bludgeoned and strangled.
Two weeks before Petito's murder, witnesses in Moab, Utah, reported seeing Laundrie hitting her in public. Tom Fleener, a partner at the Wyoming firm and an Army veteran who became a JAG lawyer, declined to comment on the Laundrie case when contacted by Fox News Digital.
Bertolino confirmed to Fox News Digital that he collected a $25,000 retainer from the Laundries and used it to pay Fleener Peterson. He stated that he has not collected any payment from the Laundries for his legal role in the case.
The lawsuit also highlights a statement made by Bertolino on September 14 on behalf of the Laundries. He told reporters that the Laundries hoped Gabby would be found and reunited with her family. Petito and Schmidt argue that this statement is outrageous given the Laundries' alleged knowledge of Petito's murder.
Bertolino defended his actions, stating that he did what any defense attorney would do. He also mentioned that Richard Stafford, an attorney for Petito's family, said he would have taken similar measures during his own deposition in the lawsuit last month. Stafford did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The lawsuit alleges that the Laundries had direct knowledge of Petito's death and likely knowledge of the whereabouts of her remains when they went on a camping trip with their children and grandchildren in early September, before Petito's mother reported her missing.
Brian Laundrie confessed to killing Petito in a suicide note found near his remains in a Florida swamp, a short distance from his parents' house in North Port. However, for several days after her death, he sent fake text messages to himself and Petito's mother from her phone, pretending she was still alive.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for December 20. Since the case gained national attention in 2021, Petito's parents have become advocates for missing persons and victims of domestic violence.