The lawyer for Gabby Petito’s family is threatening legal action against Brian Laundrie’s attorney for allegedly posting photos of the slain Long Island native online “in an effort to gain business.”
“The family tried to remove their daughter’s pictures from your page and were informed that only the business owner can add or remove pictures,” attorney Richard Stafford wrote in a letter Wednesday to Steven Bertolino, who represents Petito’s boyfriend, Laundrie.
“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 said. “I am sure this will be taken care of by 2 p.m. or I will take further action on behalf of Gabby’s family.”
Photos of Petito and her on-the-run boyfriend, a person of interest in her death, appeared on Bertolino’s Yelp page on Wednesday morning but had been removed by midday.
Two photos of Laundrie, which appear to have been posted by a Yelp user, remain on the page.
“This is sad,” Bertolino said in a text to The Post. “I have never used social media or any other electronic platform for advertising other than maintaining a website.”
“I do not control the internal sites nor the hacks and public that have been overrunning the internet with fake comments and posts,” he said. “Yesterday, Yelp had shut down its page for my firm due to inordinate and unconfirmed posts.”
“I would certainly agree with Mr. Stafford that any such post he is referring to should be removed but advise him that I have no control over that Yelp site,” he added.
Petito, 22, was found dead in a Wyoming forest on Sunday after going missing late last month while on a cross-country trip with Laundrie. Her death has been ruled a homicide, though a cause has not yet been revealed.
Laundrie returned home to Florida without Petito on Sept. 1, and went missing last week after refusing to cooperate with authorities.
He is currently the subject of a massive manhunt at the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve near his family’s home in North Port, Florida.