'Burn after reading': Brian Laundrie's mom Roberta offered to 'ASSIST' after Gabby Petito's murder

Joseph Petito and Nicole Schmidt, Petito's parents, have filed a lawsuit against Laundrie's parents, alleging that they helped their son after the murder


                            'Burn after reading': Brian Laundrie's mom Roberta offered to 'ASSIST' after Gabby Petito's murder
Brian Laundrie's mom Roberta (R) offered to 'ASSIST' him after Gabby Petito's murder (Twitter and Instagram/Brian Laundrie)
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A lawyer has claimed that Brian Laundrie's mother, Roberta, "offered to assist him" in a secret letter after he killed his girlfriend Gabby Petito. Attorney Patrick Riley, who is representing Petito's parents in a civil suit against the family, appeared on NewsNation where he hinted that even Steven Bertolino, the Laundries' lawyer, was surprised by the letter.

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"Within that letter is an offer from Roberta Laundrie to assist her son," Riley said. "It's a pretty interesting, pretty odd letter." Joseph Petito and Nicole Schmidt, Petito's parents, have filed a lawsuit against Laundrie's parents, alleging that they helped their son and conspired to assist him in fleeing to avoid taking responsibility for his crime.

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Riley said that the letter could prove their point. The envelope was found in Petito's van, in which the couple had traveled during their cross-country road trip. On the outside of the envelope, Roberta had written: "burn after you read this". 

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"There's no date on the letter but it appears to have been written between the time that Gabby was murdered and Brian committed suicide," Riley said. "Here are scenarios presented by Roberta, for example, 'if you go to jail, I'll bake a cake and put a knife in it or saw in it." "My understanding is that the letter at one point had been in the van, but then it was taken from the Laundrie home during the time when the search warrant was executed," he added. 

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In newly-unearthed claims in Brian Laundrie's diary, the deceased man wrote that he killed his fiancee, Gabby Petito, out of mercy. Laundrie claimed in his diary that he killed Petito, 22, after she fell into a creek and inured herself at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. The tragedy took place when the two were on a country-wide road trip last summer.

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The Daily Mail obtained pages of the notebook, in which he said that he struggled to comfort Petito, who was quickly deteriorating. Petito, according to Laundrie, crying in pain and shivering from the cold when he decided to kill her. Petito's death was ruled a homicide by manual strangulation.

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Laundrie died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, his family lawyer confirmed on November 23, 2021. The manner of death was determined to be suicide, as per a forensic anthropologist. A gun from Chris and Roberta Laundrie's home had been missing ever since their son took off. When his parents reported him missing in September, they had turned over all of their firearms in their home to the FBI. One gun, however, appeared to be missing. There was a DNA analysis that confirmed the identity of the remains as Brian Laundrie. This was in addition to a dental comparison, and a forensic anthropologist doing a skeletal reconstruction.

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22-year-old Petito was found strangled to death in a camping ground (Instagram/Brian Laundrie)

The gunshot wound to Laundrie's head caused extensive fractures in his skull. The full autopsy and forensic report further explained that the single bullet entered his brain at the left temple and exited through the right. Authorities found the vast majority of [his] skeleton”, besides a few bones from his teeth and his face, scattered “in plain sight". His bones also showed signs of “gnawing and chewing” from “post-mortem scavenging/carnivore activity”, which includes portions of his arms and legs, said the report. However, no sign of drug use was found in his toxicology report.

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Animal skeletal remains, a handwritten half note and a “MOAB Coffee Roasters” hat were found at the nearby “secondary” scene. Authorities found a drybag with Laundrie’s journal, and they also recovered a wooden box with a notebook and a picture of Laundrie. Examiners said that Laundrie's body was believed to have been submerged in up to three feet of water in the Florida swamp “for an extended period of time". His remains were found only when the swamp waters receded.

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Gabby Petito disappeared while on a road trip with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie (gabspetito/Instagram)

The case began drawing national interest after Brian returned home to Florida on September 1 without his girlfriend after a cross-country road trip. On January 21, 2022, the FBI provided an update on the case and admitted it was closing it after learning just how Petito died. "All logical investigative steps have been concluded in this case," FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider noted.

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