Gabby Petito’s family makes public the ‘burn after reading’ letter from Brian Laundrie’s mother

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 6:44 AM CDT|Updated: May. 25, 2023 at 8:20 PM CDT
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(Gray News) - A letter Brian Laundrie received from his mother in an envelope marked “burn after reading” has become a central part of a civil case from the parents of Gabby Petito, and it was publicly released Thursday.

The Petito family said in a statement that Roberta Laundrie, Brian Laundrie’s mother, first made the note public after months of effort and legal actions to keep it private. The Petitos also shared the letter along with their statement.

In the letter, which is undated, Laundrie’s mother writes she would help her son bury a body and get out of jail if needed. The Laundrie family claimed the letter was written in May 2021, well before Gabby Petito went missing during the couple’s cross-country trip.

Gabby Petito’s body was found in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest in September 2021.

“The letter is undated, and while Roberta Laundrie has suggested it was written before Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito left on their trip, a reasonable inference is that it was written after Gabby Petito was murdered, and is evidence that the Laundries and Attorney Bertolino were aware of Gabby Petito’s demise when the statement at issue was released on September 14, 2021,” the Petito family said in in the statement.

On Wednesday, attorneys for both sides had argued in a Sarasota County, Florida, courtroom over whether the letter was relevant in Gabby Petito’s parents’ lawsuit against the Laundries.

The letter was recovered from Brian Laundrie’s backpack when his remains were found back in October 2021.

The Petito family is suing the Laundries for emotional distress in connection to Gabby Petito’s death.

They said the Laundries refused to return calls or texts while she was missing. The Laundries have argued in court filings they had no duty to the Petitos.

Brian Laundrie confessed in a notebook that he was responsible for Gabby Petito’s death before he took his own life.