Brian Laundrie’s mother wrote him a letter where she ‘offered to assist him’ and wrote ‘burn after reading this’ on the envelope, lawyer for Gabby Petito’s family claims
Attorney Patrick Riley, who is representing Petito’s parents in a civil suit against the family, appeared on NewsNation, where he hinted that even the lawyer for Laundrie’s parents, Steven Bertolino, was surprised by the bombshell letter.
‘Within that letter is an offer from Roberta Laundrie to assist her son,’ Riley said. ‘It’s a pretty interesting, pretty odd letter.’
Petito’s parents, Joseph Petito and Nicole Schmidt, have filed a lawsuit against Christopher and Roberta Laundrie in a Florida court accusing them of harboring Brian and conspiring to help him flee to avoid taking responsibility for his crime.
Riley suggested that the letter could offer proof.
On the outside of the envelope, which was found in Petito’s van which the couple used on a cross-country road trip, Roberta Laundrie had written ‘burn after you read this,’ Riley told News Nation.
Riley claims that the newly surfaced letter could help prove the Petito family’s case against the Laundries.
‘There’s no date on the letter but it appears to have been written between the time that Gabby was murdered and Brian committed suicide,’ Riley said. ‘There are scenarios presented by Roberta, for example, ‘if you go to jail, I’ll bake a cake and put a knife in it or saw in it.’
A lawyer claims that Brian Laundrie’s mother, Roberta Laundrie, wrote him a secret letter after he killed his fiancee Gabby Petito where she ‘offered to assist him’
Patrick Riley, left, said that Roberta Laundrie wrote a letter offering to help her son Brian after he killed Gabby Petito
The Laundries were a no-show recently at the hearing in the civil case brought against them by Gabby Petito’s family
Petito’s parents, Joseph Petito and Nicole Schmidt, have filed a lawsuit against Christopher and Roberta Laundrie in a Florida court accusing them of harboring Brian and conspiring to help him flee to avoid taking responsibility for his crime
He said that the evidence was gathered as part of the federal investigation into Gabby’s murder.
‘My understanding is that the letter at one point had been in the van, but then it was taken from the Laundrie home during the time when the search warrant was executed,’ the lawyer said.
Petito was reported missing in September after she and Laundrie embarked on a cross-country road trip.
She was found strangled to death on September 19, 2021 near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. She had been dead for three weeks.
Brian Laundrie went on the run after her body was found and was later discovered dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in October.
The lawyer for Laundrie’s parents recently released pages from his diary where he confessed to killing Petito, and claimed that it was ‘merciful’ and ‘what she wanted’.
The letter Roberta Laundrie allegedly wrote to her son was not part of his confession letter and, he said, Bertolino seemed taken aback by its contents.
‘The surprise on his face was very interesting when he read the letter,’ Riley said.
Riley declined to fully describe the correspondence, saying that he did not want to misquote it.
He said that though he has read the letter, he does not have a copy of it, but has requested it for the purposes of the lawsuit.
‘There was also something referenced in that letter about Gabby and I’d rather not go into it any further at this point. The letter will speak for itself.’
It was not an offer by the mom to help Brian commit suicide, the lawyer clarified.
‘It was an offer that had to do with Gabby,’ he said.
Riley also told NewsNation that the notebook was not the only confession that Brian left, he said. There were two more confessions, one on a ‘digital device’ according to the news service and a third ‘in written form.’
The lawyer had not seen those admissions, but was told about them by FBI investigators.
Christopher and Roberta Laundrie were seen near their home in North Port, Florida, on Thursday
Attorney Steve Bertolino, who represents Brian Laundrie’s parents, said ‘I did everything the right way. We have no regrets. The parents did everything the right way, and they have no regrets’
On Friday, Bertolino released a sensational confession letter that Laundrie had written before he killed himself. His notebook was found in a dry bag beside his body on October 20 last year after he fled to the alligator-infested Carlton Reserve near his home in North Port, Florida.
The 23-year-old wrote that he strangled his 22-year-old fiancé as the result of an ‘unexpected tragedy’ in Grand Teton National Park after Petito had fallen into a creek and injured herself.
At the start of the confession, he wrote a personal message to Petito, that read: ‘I wish I could be at your side, I wish I could be talking to you right now.’
In self-pitying sentences written in smudged blue pen, Laundrie claimed he battled to comfort Petito who was deteriorating, crying in pain and shivering from constant cold.
Gabby’s remains were eventually discovered on September 19, 2021, in lonely spot in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. She and boyfriend Brian, 23, had lived with his parents in North Port, near Florida’s west coast. The young couple set off on an adventure from New York State – where her mother lives – in early July, heading West
Laundrie’s remains were found north of the entrance to Myakkahatchee Creek, in the Big Slough Preserve, off an unpaved trail near a bridge where Brian’s parents said he liked to visit. It is four miles north of their home in North Port, Florida
Petito’s family claims the Laundries are guilty of ‘inflicting intentional emotional distress’ and that a statement issued by their lawyer hopeful of a successful end to the search for then-missing Petito was ‘outrageous’ because they allegedly already knew she was dead. Nichole Schmidt and her husband, Jim, are pictured in September 2021
But eventually he killed her, writing: ‘I don’t know the extent of Gabby’s injuries, only that she was in extreme pain.
‘I ended her life. I thought it was merciful, that it is what she wanted, but I see now all the mistake that I made. I panicked. I was in shock. But from the moment I decided, took away her pain.’
There is no indication of how Laundrie apparently cared for Gabby before he ended her life.
In a desperate bid to explain his version of events, he wrote: ‘I am sorry to my family, this is a shock to them as well as a terrible greif (sic)….
‘Please do not make this harder for them, this occurred as an unexpected tragedy.’
Police and FBI officials retrieved items belonging to Brian Laundrie, including a notebook, near where his body was found in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park
Laundrie’s notebook contained a letter written to the late Petito before he killed himself following a large manhunt for him, The notes revealed a confession from Laundrie, who claimed he killed Petito out of mercy after an accident during their cross-country trip
Laudrie wrote that Petito’s condition was worsening in the Utah wilderness and was begging ‘for an end to her pain’
After killing his fiance, Laundrie said he rushed home and had thought about getting his friends to kill him to end his own pain
The couple were at the national park after visiting Utah on their trip west in Gabby’s 2012 white Ford Transit. They were cataloguing the trip on social media.
Laundrie wrote in his letter: ‘Rushing back to our car, trying to cross the steam of spread creek before it got too dark to see, to (sic) cold. I hear a splash and a scream. I could barely see, I couldn’t finder her for a moment, shouted her name.
‘I found her breathing barely, gasping, any (indistinct as the ink is waterlogged) she was freezing cold, we had just come from the blazing hot national parks in Utah.
‘The temperature had dropped to freezing and she was soaking wet. I carried her as far as I could down the stream towards the car, stumbling, exhausted in shock, when my (indistinct) and I knew I couldn’t safely carry her.
‘I started a fire and spooned her as close to the heat, she was so thin, had already been freezing too long. I couldn’t at the time realize that I should’ve started a fire first but I wanted her out of the cold back to the car. From where I started the fire I had no idea where the car might be. Only knew it was across the creek.
‘When I pulled Gabby out of the water she couldn’t tell me what hurt. She had a small bump on her forehead that eventually got larger. Her feet hurt, her wrist hurt, but she was freezing, shaking violently, while carrying her she continually made sounds of pain.’
Laundrie then explained that he killed Petito, writing: ‘Laying next to her she said little, lapsing between violent shakes, gasping in pain, begging for an end to her pain. She would fall asleep and I would shake her awake fearing she shouldn’t close her eyes if she had a concussion.
‘She would wake in pain, start her whole painful cycle again, furious that I was the one waking her. She wouldn’t let me try to cross the creek, thought like me that the fire would go out in her sleep.’
He then claimed he killed Petito because it was ‘merciful’, and added: ‘I knew I couldn’t go on without her.
‘I rushed home to spend any time I had left with my family.
‘I wanted to drive north and let James or TJ kill me, but I wouldn’t want them to spend time in jail over my mistake, even though I’m sure they would have liked to.’
Of his own fate in the 25,000-acre swampland on Florida’s west coast, he wrote: ‘I’m ending my life not because of fear of punishment, but rather because I can’t stand to live another day without her.
‘I’ve lost our whole entire future together, every moment we could have cherished. I’m sorry for everyone’s loss. Please don’t make life hard for my family, they lost a son and a daughter. The most wonderful (?) girl in the world I’m sorry.
‘I have killed myself by this creek in the hope that animals may tear me apart that it might make some of her family happy.’
As an apparent after thought, and in larger writing, he finished with the words: ‘Please pick up all of my things. Gabby hated people who litter.’