Brian Laundrie's written confession of murdering Gabby Petito released by FBI

An investigation was opened by the FBI after Gabby Petito's family reported her missing while on a trip with her fiance Brian Laundrie.

 Gabrielle Petito, 22, who was reported missing on September 11, 2021 after traveling with her boyfriend around the country in a van and never returned home, poses for a photo with Brian Laundrie in this undated handout photo. (photo credit: North Port/Florida Police/Handout via REUTERS)
Gabrielle Petito, 22, who was reported missing on September 11, 2021 after traveling with her boyfriend around the country in a van and never returned home, poses for a photo with Brian Laundrie in this undated handout photo.
(photo credit: North Port/Florida Police/Handout via REUTERS)

Brian Laundrie admitted to killing his fiancée Gabby Petito in a notebook that was recovered by the FBI back in October of 2021 and released to the media on Friday.

Members of Petito's family reported her missing on Sept. 11, 10 days after 23-year-old Laundrie returned home from a months-long cross-country trip in the van without her. Petito was discovered dead later that month in Wyoming, having been killed by strangulation.

Laundrie disappeared while the search for Petito was ongoing, and his remains were discovered in a wooded area in Sarasota Country, Florida in October. With his body was the notebook from which the confession of his murder was taken.

In the note, Laundrie wrote that he killed Petito to put her out of her misery when she fell and got injured.

"Gabby, I wish I was right at your side, I wish I could be talking to you right now," Laundrie wrote in the confession note which doubled as a suicide note. "I'd be going through every memory we made, getting even more excited for the future, but we've lost our future. I cannot be without you. I've lost every day we could have spent together. Every holiday.

 Gabby Petito. (credit: Wikimedia Commons) Gabby Petito. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

"I loved you more than anything, I cannot bear to look at our photos, to recall great times because it is why I cannot go on. When I close my eyes, I will think of laying on the roof of the van, falling asleep to the sight of a meteor shower at the crystal geyser. I will always love you.

"If you were reading Gab's journal, looking at photos from our life together, flipping through old cards, you wouldn't want to live a day without her. Knowing that every day you'll wake up without her, you wouldn't want to wake up.

"I'm sorry to everyone this will affect. Gabby was the love of my life, but I know adored by many. I'm so very sorry to her family because I love them. I'd consider her younger siblings my best of friends. I'm sorry to my family, this a shock to them as well a terrible grief.

"They loved [Gabby] as much if not more than me. A new daughter to my mother, an aunt to my nephews. Please do not make this harder for them."

The note went on to describe what Laundrie called an "unexpected tragedy." He describes how Laundrie and Petito had been hiking and were rushing back to their car before it got too dark and cold. Petito slipped while they were crossing a stream and got injured to the extent that she could not walk and was in extreme pain.

Laundrie wrote that he carried Petito for as long as he could but had to stop eventually and lit a fire because Petito was freezing. He described how she was in agony and drifting in and out of sleep.

He further claimed that he had wanted to get back to the car for help, but that Petito didn't want him to go in case the fire went out.

"I don't know the extent of Gabby's injuries, only that she was in extreme pain," he wrote. "I ended her life. 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. But from the moment I decided, took away her pain. I knew I couldn't go on without her.

 A sign is seen during Gabby Petito's memorial service in Holbrook, New York, US, September 26, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/JEENAH MOON) A sign is seen during Gabby Petito's memorial service in Holbrook, New York, US, September 26, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/JEENAH MOON)

"I rushed home to spend my time I had left with my family. I wanted to drive north and let James or TJ kill me, but I wouldn't want them to spend time in jail over my mistake even though I'm sure they would have liked to. 

"I am ending my life, not because of a fear of punishment but rather because I cannot stand to live another day without her."

Brian Laundrie

He then repeated his request that the matter not be made harder for his family who he said lost a son and a daughter.

"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.

"Please pick up all of my things. Gabby hated people who litter."

Investigation into Petito's disappearance

The FBI opened an investigation in the middle of September after Petito was reported missing by her family while she was supposed to be on a trip with Laundrie. Her body was found a week later at Spread Creek, where Laundrie said he killed her, and the coroner determined that she had died of blunt-force trauma to the head and neck and manual strangulation.

During that week, Laundrie's family reported him missing, and his remains were later found near his car at Myakkahatchee Creek Park in Florida. A Medical examiner reported that he had shot himself to death.

As part of the investigation, the FBI were provided with bodycam footage from Officer Daniel Robbins who had broken up an argument between Petito and Laundrie during their trip. Robbins said that he suggested they spend the night apart, which they did.

"After evaluating the totality of the circumstances, I do not believe the situation escalated to the level of a domestic assault as much as that of a mental health crisis," Robbins wrote in his report. 

The FBI closed its investigation in January after determining that Laundrie had murdered Petito and committed suicide a couple of weeks later.

“All logical investigative steps have been concluded in this case,” said FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider. “The investigation did not identify any other individuals other than Brian Laundrie directly involved in the tragic death of Gabby Petito."