The family of Gabby Petito, a “van life” influencer murdered by her fiance Brian Laundrie in 2021, now have their hands on a “burn after reading” letter in which Laundrie’s mother wrote that she would bring a shovel and help him “dispose of a body.”
In the undated letter, which the Laundries fought to block the court from releasing, Roberta Laundrie vowed to always love her son — and alluded to possibly assisting in the cover up of Petito’s murder. The message, released to the Petito family Wednesday, was found when investigators located Brian Laundrie’s body in October 2021.
Petito’s family sued Laundrie’s parents and their attorney Steven Bertolino in March 2022 for emotional distress — a case making its way through Sarasota County courts as the two year anniversary of Petito’s death approaches.
“If you’re in jail I will bake a cake with a file in it,” Roberta Laundrie wrote in the letter. “If you need to dispose of a body I will bring show up with a shovel and garbage bags. 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.”
She even quoted the Bible in her note, writing: “Nothing can separate us; not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not threats, not even sin, not the thinkable or unthinkable can get between us.”
Attorney Patrick Reilly shared the family’s statement, in which they commend Judge Danielle Brewer for releasing the letter, with the Miami Herald on Thursday.
“...While Roberta Laundrie has suggested it was written before Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito left on their trip, ...[it] is evidence that the Laundries and Attorney Bertolino were aware of Gabby Petito’s demise...”
Laundrie, 23, murdered Petito, 22, during a cross-country road trip she posted about on social media. Millions around the world followed the case, speculating about Petito’s disappearance and grieving her death when the young woman’s body was found in a Wyoming national park in September 2021.
Days before Petito’s death, Moab, Utah police responded to a “domestic dispute” between Petito and Laundrie. The officers ultimately allowed the couple to reunite despite warning signs of domestic violence.
The case concluded a month later, when Laundrie’s remains were found in a Sarasota County nature preserve. Police say Laundrie died by suicide and left a note confessing to Petito’s murder.
In November, the Petitos settled a wrongful death lawsuit against Laundrie’s parents for $3 million. The money from the settlement, which was signed by Sarasota County Circuit Judge Hunter W. Carroll, will benefit the Gabby Petito Foundation, founded to stop domestic violence and search for missing persons.
That same month, the Petitos filed a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit against Moab, Utah police. The lawsuit names the police department, three of its officers and 10 other defendants for their “negligent failure” in investigating the fight.