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Lawyer of Gabby Petito's parents claims Brian Laundrie's mom Roberta offered him shovel after murder

The Laundrie family’s lawyers say the letter was written before the couple left on a cross-country road trip
Gaby Petito’s parents (left) have stressed that the parents of her daughter’s killer, Brian Laundrie (right)  knew about the murder weapon (Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images and gabspetito/Instagram)
Gaby Petito’s parents (left) have stressed that the parents of her daughter’s killer, Brian Laundrie (right) knew about the murder weapon (Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images and gabspetito/Instagram)

TAMPA, FLORIDA: The mother of Gabby Petito's suspected killer, Brian Laundrie, offered to lend him a shovel after the Wyoming murder, according to the attorney for Gabby Petito's parents. However, her defense team claims the letter was written before the couple embarked on their tragic cross-country road trip.

The papers that Brian's parents should provide in a civil case were the subject of a letter from Pat Reilly, the attorney for the Petito family, to Matt Luka, the lawyer for the Laundrie family, on December 5. The email between Reilly and Luka which seems to refer to a letter that Reilly had previously tried to obtain over the summer was made public after the former attached it as an exhibit in a court file on December 20. "This request certainly would also include the note that Roberta Laundrie wrote to Brian Laundrie, [in] which she offered to bring a shovel to help bury the body," Reilly wrote as revealed by Fox News. "The note was released to the custody of Mr. Bertolino on Friday, June 24, 2022, by the FBI." On that particular day, Reilly and Steve Bertolino, the Laundries' longtime lawyer, met with the FBI in Tampa.


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When Brian's handwritten confession was discovered next to his remains at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, 10 minutes from his parents' North Port home, the investigators gave it to Bertolino. At the time, both attorneys informed Fox News that further documents had been delivered. Reilly mentioned one of them as a letter with the subject line "burn after reading." "I don't feel comfortable summarizing the letter," he told Fox News Digital at the time. "The content is very specific and best read when available. If my belief as to the time it was written is accurate, it shows that at least Roberta Laundrie knew of Gabby's murder before Gabby's body was located. The rest of the notebook contained letters to his family." He continued, "The content of the letter seems to indicate that it was written after Gabby's death," despite the fact that Roberta's letter was undated.

The letter was allegedly written long before the murder, according to Bertolino. He was mentioned in the amended lawsuit filed by the Petito family earlier this month. "Attorney Reilly and his clients are entitled to allege what they want in court filings, but their allegations are not based on fact but on conjecture only," Bertolino told Fox News. "The letter in question was written prior to Brian and Gabby leaving Florida and has nothing to do with this case." He said that Reilly was "taking unrelated comments out of context" and trying to "further sensationalize" the matter. No criminal charges have been brought against Chris and Roberta Laundrie in relation to Petito's killing.