Gabby Petito urged Brian Laundrie to 'stop crying' in love letter to her killer released by FBI

Gabby Petito attempted to soothe Brian Laundrie in a previously unseen letter released this week by the FBI, telling him to "stop crying" in an apparent attempt to make amends over an unknown issue.

The pages appeared to have been written before the couple left on their ill-fated road trip and referenced coming "back from NY."

"Brian, you know how much I love you, so (and I'm writing this with love) Just please stop crying and stop calling me names, because we're a team," Petito wrote in an undated letter. "And I'm here with you. I'm always going to have your back"

The two handwritten pages from Petito, 22, to Laundrie, 23, were included in a 366-page release of law enforcement documents regarding the case. She apologized for getting upset over "a dumb piece of paper," and tried to comfort the man who would eventually kill her.

"I love you so much it hurts," Petito wrote. "So you in pain is killing me. I'm not trying to be negative, but I'm frustrated there's not more I can do."


Brian Laundrie told parents Gabby Petito was 'gone' weeks before she was reported missing: Attorney

Gabby Petito, 22, vanished while on a cross-country road trip with Brian Laundrie in August 2021, and her body was later found in Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Petito appeared hopeful and ambitious in the letter, vowing to achieve the couple's shared dreams, reiterating her love – but also apologizing for unstated transgressions.

"I hope you understand when I'm upset it's cause you make me love you too much," she wrote on a second page. "Now…stop crying! And come home and say you love me with a big hug."

Despite her words, the files reveal that the FBI was quick to launch a kidnapping and murder investigation, just days after Petito was reported missing in September 2021. 

Read Gabby Petito's note to Brian Laundrie

Other items in the file include pictures of personal effects belonging to both Petito and Laundrie as well as internal FBI notes, warrant returns and police reports from local agencies around the country.

According to a North Port, Florida, search warrant, tensions within the couple were increasingly visible to an unnamed person who communicated with Petito on a near daily basis.


Gabby Petito: Note written by Brian Laundrie's mother marked 'burn after reading'

In a new letter revealed by Gabby Petito's family, Brian Laundrie’s mother offered him a shovel and garbage bags if he needed to dispose of a body.

Investigators also collected photographs of sketches created by Laundrie and his journals. In one entry, he mused about suicide and wrote that he kept a revolver under his mattress. 

Petito's last known public sighting came on Aug. 27 leaving Jackson, Wyoming. Laundrie remained in the area for about three days before he drove her van back to his parents' house in North Port, Florida, and the mystery of her disappearance soon made headlines around the world.

Before an FBI-led search discovered her remains in the Bridger-Teton National Forest at a campsite where she had stayed with Laundrie, agents already suspected he was responsible for her death, according to the unclassified documents.

"At time of case opening, Laundrie would not speak to investigators in reference to the location of Petito," an agent wrote on Sept. 15. "Writer requests a case opening for kidnapping and murder of Petito on federal lands."

The Petito, Schmidt and Laundrie families said they had not been given a heads up by the FBI prior to the release of the documents.

Steve Bertolino, the attorney for Laundrie and his parents, said some of the photographs and writings he had seen when the FBI returned Laundrie's personal effects to the family. But other items, including the FBI's internal documents, were new to him.

Last week, Petito's mom Nichole Schmidt told an assembly in Nashville that she had forgiven Laundrie.

"I speak for myself here when I say Brian, I forgive you," she told a packed auditorium at CrimeCon 2024. "I needed to release myself from the chains of anger and bitterness, and I refuse to let your despicable act define the rest of my life."

Following Petito's death, her parents and stepparents created a foundation in her honor to combat domestic violence and raise awareness for missing persons.

They have lobbied for federal legislation, some of which became law last year with bipartisan support, as well as lethality assessment laws in Florida, Utah and New York.

The foundation donated $100,000 to the National Domestic Violence Hotline last year.