FBI release love letter Gabby Petito wrote to Brian Laundrie before he killed her

Petito’s remains were found on 19 September 2021, in the Bridger-Teton National Forest

Graig Graziosi
Tuesday 11 June 2024 17:37
FBI documents shed light on Gabby Petito case

Newly released FBI documents reveal the contents of a letter Gabby Petito wrote to Brian Laundrie, her abusive boyfriend, who would later kill her during a road trip across the western US in the summer of 2021.

The letters are just a part of the 350 pages of documents released by the FBI relating to the case, NBC News reports.

Petito, who was 22 years old when she was killed, voices her frustration with Laundrie over the way he criticizes her and shares her desire to have a better relationship with him.

“Just please stop crying and stop calling me names because we’re a team and I’m here with you,” she wrote in the letter. “Yes, I can be a child sometimes, I know, but it’s cause you give me this energy and I just love you too much, like so much it hurts. So you in pain is killing me. I’m not trying to be negative but I’m frustrated there’s not more I can do.”

She said she hopes Laundrie understands that "when I'm upset it's cause I love you too much".

Gabby Petito’s father posted a heartbreaking tribute to mark the second anniversary of her murder
Gabby Petito’s father posted a heartbreaking tribute to mark the second anniversary of her murder (Joseph Petito/Instagram)

“Now, stop crying!!! And come home and say you love me with a big hug,” the letter said.

The letter did not have a date.

Teton County Coroner Dr Brent Blue found that Petito died by “manual strangulation/throttling” in a written autopsy ruling released in 2021.

The search for Petito – and later the manhunt for Laundrie – grabbed headlines across the world in the summer of 2021 after Laundrie returned from his road trip alone.

After Petito's parents lost contact with her, they reached out to the Laundrie family for answers. Petito had been staying with the Laundries prior to the summer road trip. The Laundries did not offer any information to the Petitos, and the woman's family began to suspect something might have been wrong.

After weeks of searching, Petito's body was found on 19 September near the border of the Birdger-Teton National Forest in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

By that time, Laundrie – who was not immediately arrested – had slipped away from the police who had been watching his family home. His disappearance kicked off a manhunt that also took weeks, and even saw the ultimately ineffectual involvement of Dog the Bounty Hunter.

Wild theories about Laundrie's location spread across the internet, with some claiming they saw him in Central America or driving remote roads in Appalachia.

Brian Laundrie talks to a police officer after being pulled over
Brian Laundrie talks to a police officer after being pulled over (Moab Police Department)

The reality was much more mundane; Laundrie went to a spot in a local nature preserve where he liked to walk and died by suicide.

Police were unable to initially locate his remains because the park is mostly swamp, and early fall rainstorms had made searching the area nearly impossible. Once the waters receded, police located Laundrie's remains as well as a bag containing a water damaged journal.

An FBI analysis of the journal managed to recover some of the writing within, including a confession made by Laundrie that he killed Petito.

In his version of events, he claims Petito was injured from a fall and that she was in "extreme pain" which is why he "ended her life, I thought it was merciful..."

"I’m sorry for everyone’s loss. Please do not make life harder for my family, they lost a son and a daughter. The most wonderful girl in the world. Gabby I’m sorry," Laundrie wrote. “I have killed myself by this creek in the hopes that animals may tear me apart. That it may make some of her family happy.”

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