The $50 million wrongful death lawsuit filed by Gabby Petito’s family against Moab City, Utah police officers in Long Island, New York, has been dismissed by an attorney representing the officers, who called it a “publicity stunt.” The attorney, Mitchell Stephens, expressed doubt about the lawsuit’s claims, stating that blaming the city for Petito’s death to a much greater extent than her confessed murderer, Brian Laundrie, is unlikely.

Gabby Petito tragically lost her life at the hands of her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, who confessed to strangling her during their cross-country journey. Her body was found on September 19, 2021, in Wyoming. Brian Laundrie later took his own life in a nearby park.

The couple had been pulled over by authorities in Utah two weeks before the tragic incident. A concerned individual had called 911 after seeing Brian Laundrie allegedly strike Gabby Petito. Body camera footage from the police showed Petito in distress, discussing her mental struggles and conflicts within their relationship. The police categorized the event as a “mental/emotional health break” and advised them to spend the night apart.

In November, Petito’s family sued Moab City police, claiming they didn’t follow proper protocols for handling domestic violence incidents. They argued that if the officers had acted differently, the tragic outcome might have been prevented. However, the attorney for the police officers emphasized that the officers responded with compassion, ensured the couple’s separation for the night, and both Petito and Laundrie chose to continue their journey together.