Gaby Petito’s family get copy of ‘burn after reading’ letter written by Brian Laundrie’s mother

Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito  (via REUTERS)
Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito (via REUTERS)

The mother of Brian Laundrie wrote him a letter offering a “shovel and garbage bags” if he needed to dispose of a body, court documents have revealed.

Laundrie, 23, killed his fiancee Gabby Petito, 22, by strangulation before turning a gun on himself a month later in 2021, police say, in a tragic case that attracted international attention.

The couple had been travelling around the US in a van and documented the road trip online before their deaths.

A letter written by Laundrie’s mother, Roberta Laundrie, found in Laundrie’s backpack after his death, has been shared after it was given to NBC News by the lawyer for Ms Petito’s family.

It was addressed to her son along with the words: “Burn after reading”.

It read: “If you need to dispose of a body, I will show up with a shovel and garbage bags.

“I just want you to remember I will always love you and I know you will always love me. You are my boy.

“Nothing can make me stop loving you, nothing will or could ever divide us. No matter what we do, or where we go or what we say – we will always love each other,” Mrs Laundrie wrote in the letter.

“If you’re in jail I will bake a cake with a file in it.

“If you fly to the moon, I will be watching the skies for your re-entry. If you say you hate my guts, I’ll get new guts.”

The hand-written note was found in Laundrie’s bag along with a notebook in which he confessed he was responsible for Ms Petito’s death, police said.

Ms Petito’s body was found at Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming in September 2021. Her death was ruled a homicide by manual strangulation.

Brian Laundrie took his own life by shooting himself in the head, police later announced. His body was found in a Florida swamp.

Mrs Laundrie said she had written the letter before her son went travelling with his fiancee in a bid to repair their “strained” relationship.

In an affidavit, Mrs Laundrie said that had given it to him before he and Ms Petito left for their travels.

“I was trying to connect with Brian and repair our relationship as he was planning to leave home – and I had hoped this letter would remind him how much I loved him,” she wrote.

“While I used words that seem to have a connection with Brian’s actions and his taking of Gabby’s life, I never would have fathomed the events that unfolded months later between Brian and Gabby would reflect the words in my letter.”

In a statement through her family’s lawyer, Mrs Laundrie added: “The letter to Brian was written prior to Gabby and Brian leaving my home for their trip.

“I truly loved my son, and simply wanted to convey to him how much he meant to me and 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.”