'I ended her life': Brian Laundrie confessed to killing Gabby Petito in journal found near his body
Gabby was strangled at a Wyoming campsite while traveling cross-country with Laundrie in September 2021
TAMPA, FLORIDA: Brian Laundrie's notebook in which he confessed to killing his fiancee Gabby Petito was released publicly for the first time in a report by Fox News on Friday, June 24. Laundrie left his notebook in the Florida swamp where he committed suicide, according to the report by Fox News.
“I ended her life,” Laundrie confessed in the notebook, which was recovered by the FBI from the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park on October 20, 2021. But, he insisted it was an act of “mercy,” according to the report. “I thought it was merciful, that it is what she wanted, but I see now all the mistakes I made. I panicked. I was in shock," Laundrie wrote. Attorneys representing the Petito-Schmidt and Laundrie families met at the FBI's Tampa Field Office on Friday, June 24.
Laundrie claimed that he wanted to put her fiancee Petito out of her pain and misery after she fell and hurt herself in the Wyoming wilderness, but said he immediately regretted after killing her. “From the moment I decided, took away her pain, I knew I couldn’t go on without her,” he wrote. Petito, 22, was found strangled to death in a camping ground near the Grand Tetons on September 19, 2021, after she went missing under mysterious circumstances during a road trip with Laundrie for several weeks. After Petito's death, Laundrie disappeared and which led to the nationwide manhunt for the then-suspected killer.
Laundrie returned home to his parents in North Port, Florida, on September 1, police said. According to the FBI, he also sent fake text messages from Petito’s phone in a bid to cover up the crime and stole her debit card.
Laundrie, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park near Sarasota, apologized and asked authorities to go easy on his family in the note. “Please do not make life harder for my family,” he scrawled in the notebook. “They lost a son and a daughter. The most wonderful girl in the world. Gabby I’m sorry.” He added, “I am sorry to my family. This is a shock to them as well terrible grief.”