The family of deceased YouTuber Gabby Petito has threatened legal action over pictures of the 22-year-old being used by the lawyer representing her fiancé, Brian Laundrie.
Laundrie has been named a person of interest, with his lawyer, Steven Bertolino, representing him in the case. After taking 23-year-old Laundrie on as a client, images of Petito were uploaded to Bertolino’s Yelp page.
Today, September 22, the Petito family lawyer Richard Stafford wrote a letter to Bertolino threatening legal action if he did not remove the images of the deceased young woman, claiming the lawyer is attempting to exploit the highly publicised case to promote his law practice.
The letter reads:
The Petito and Schmidt family are demanding that you remove Gabby Petito’s picture from your Yelp page… The family tried to remove their daughter’s picture from your page and were informed that only the business owner can add or remove pictures.
Furthermore, the Petito and Schmidt family demand that you cease and desist posting pictures of Gabby Petito to any and all of your social media pages, web pages or advertisements in an effort to gain business.
Stafford concluding the letter by writing that Bertolino had until 2.00pm Eastern Time today to take down any photos, threatening that if he failed to do so, Stafford would ‘take further action on behalf of Gabby’s family’.
Fox News reports the image of Petito appeared to have been uploaded by a user named ‘Casey C’, and that it has since been removed from the Yelp page.
The page reportedly has ‘not yet been claimed by the owner or a representative’, and also states: ‘This business is being monitored by Yelp’s Support team for content related to media reports.’
The letter to Bertolino comes just one day after the FBI in Denver confirmed the remains found on Sunday belonged to Petito, with Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue ruling Petito’s death a homicide in his preliminary findings.
After learning the news, the Laundrie family released a simple statement, saying: ‘May Gabby Rest in Peace’. An attorney for Petito’s family, meanwhile, said the family would grieve in private and would issue a statement once the 22-year-old’s body has been returned home.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677
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