Brian Laundrie, who confessed to killing his girlfriend, Gabby Petito, before taking his own life in 2021, had received a “burn after reading” letter from his mother, Roberta Laundrie which included references to getting a shovel and burying a body.
The letter, released to the Petito family as part of their civil suit against the Laundries, was obtained by News Nation reporter Brian Entin, who has been following the Petito-Laundrie case from Day 1. He posted photos of the letter on social media:
Prior to a judge ordering the release of the letter, which was in an envelope, recovered from Brian’s backpack when his remains were found in October 2021, attorneys for both sides argued over whether the letter was relevant to the lawsuit in a Sarasota County, Florida, courtroom Wednesday.
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“As we all know the letter references burying a body bringing a shovel and burying a body,” Petito family attorney Patrick Reilly said in court Wednesday. “Those are criminal acts, by the way, that Roberta Laundrie has said she would commit.”
Gabby’s remains were found at Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest in September 2021, days after Brian returned from a vacation both took, alone. Her death was ruled a homicide by manual strangulation. Brian Laundrie disappeared several weeks later and wrote in a notebook he was responsible for her death, before he died by suicide, according to the FBI. His remains were found in a preserve near his parent’s home in North Port, Florida.
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The Petitos sued the Laundries for emotional distress concerning Gabby Petito’s death. The letter is undated and Roberta claimed that she wrote she doesn’t know the exact date of the letter. However, she was sure that she wrote it before Brian left with Gabby for their trip.
Roberta has also issued a statement regarding the letter after it was shared with the press. “Now that the letter has been shared. I ask that you read it in its entirety and understand that the letter contains other phrases besides those highlighted by Pat Reilly for sensationalism and to bolster this case. I truly loved my son, and simply wanted to convey to him how much I loved him. I am sure people use phrases all the time to express to their loved ones the depths of their love. Although I chose words that I thought would be impactful with Brian given our relationship, the letter was in no way related to Gabby. Please read the entire letter before you believe the hype put out by Pat Reilly,” she said.