(Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
OAN’s Brooke Mallory
4:00 PM – Thursday, May 25, 2023
The parents of the 22-year-old blogger who was strangled to death in 2021 by her boyfriend on a road trip have drafted and published a public letter with writings from the mother of Petito’s killer, in which she discusses burying a body.
How the Petito family came into possession of the letter remains unclear.
The family of Brian Laundrie, Gabby Petito’s boyfriend and assailant, is now suing Gabby’s family for “emotional distress.”
However, the Petito family may now incorporate Roberta Laundrie’s letter to her son in their civil action, the judge decided on Wednesday.
Laundrie had shot himself some time after the death of his girlfriend, who was discovered strangled in a campground in Wyoming. Laundrie’s parents had requested the judge not to include the letter in case proceedings, and neither of them have currently been charged with any crime in connection to Gabby’s passing.
Roberta Laundrie told her son, “If you’re in jail, I’ll bake a cake and put a file in it,” in the surfacing letter.
“If you need to dispose of a body, I will show up with a shovel and garbage bags.”
She had also written “burn after reading” on the envelope.
The mother of Brian Launderie had said in a previously submitted court filing that the letter only included “quirky” references to her son’s favorite young-adult book series.
She added that she composed the letter just before her son and Petito embarked on their cross-country journey.
In a statement given to BBC, the Petito family said “a reasonable inference is it was written after Gabby Petito was murdered.”
Patrick Reilly, the Petito family’s attorney, stated in court on Wednesday that, “Those are criminal acts, by the way, that Roberta Laundrie has said she would commit,” referencing the letter.
Judge Danielle Brewer of the Sarasota Circuit Court declined to grant an injunction prohibiting the use of the letter in the lawsuit.
The wrongful death lawsuit brought by Petito’s parents had resulted in a $3 million settlement last year between the Petito and Laundrie families.
In September 2021, Laundrie arrived back home to North Port, Florida, alone and without Gabby. After getting engaged, the couple had been documenting their cross-country driving trip on social media.
Later that month, her body was found close to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. The FBI reported Laundrie’s body was also discovered a month later in a Florida nature reserve close to his parents’ house.
The letter in question had been discovered by detectives at the scene where his body was found.
Online sleuths and domestic abuse activists took an interest in Petito’s disappearance and the findings of the investigation, which sparked a national spotlight on the case.
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