Gabby Petito’s parents bashed the mother of confessed killer Brian Laundrie for releasing a controversial “burn after reading” letter to her son — in which she promises to bring him a shovel and garbage bags to get rid of a body.
Roberta Laundrie made the missive public Wednesday, after a Florida judge ruled it could be used as evidence in a lawsuit against the Laundries, who they believe covered up Brian’s role in the 22-year-old’s death.
The move made Joe Petito and Nichole Schmidt furious, as it came after Laundries insisted it was written to their son by Roberta long before Petito’s murder and was thus not relevant to the court case.
“Roberta Laundrie has issued a self-serving statement and released the ‘Burn After Reading’ letter after Judge Danielle Brewer yesterday denied her Motion for a Protective Order to preclude a release of the letter to the Petito family,” Petito’s parents said in a statement through their attorney Pat Reilly Thursday, Fox News Digital reported.
“The letter was not released to the press by us. It is interesting that she would do this now, given that she has resisted providing it for the last five to six months, she asked for a protective order, asked for a confidentiality agreement in the afternoon of May 24, 2023, and then released it later that day,” Petito and Schmidt continued.
“Attorney Bertolino on behalf of the Laundries also released Brian Laundrie’s confession last summer within an hour after it was provided to him by the FBI.”
The two families are at odds over the timing of the letter, in which Roberta Laundrie told Brian: “If you’re in jail I will bake a cake and put a file in it. If you need to dispose of a body. I will show up with a shovel and garbage bags.”
The Laundries argue it was penned before their son Brian left on the cross-country road trip with Petito and had nothing to do with her murder.
The slain 22-year-old’s parents believe that the letter was written after her death and is evidence the Laundries knew about the crime before her remains were found in a Wyoming campground.
Both sides told the court Wednesday they opposed a potential confidentiality agreement and asked the judge to decide whether the letter should be disclosed. The judge decided it should, and the letter was shared with several media outlets.
“We appreciate Judge Brewer’s ruling in which she recognized the importance of the ‘Burn After Reading’ letter as a potential source of evidence to be used at trial against the Laundries,” Petito’s parents’ statement read.
“The letter is undated, and while Roberta Laundrie has suggested it was written before Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito left on their trip, a reasonable inference is that it was written after Gabby Petito was murdered, and is evidence that the Laundries and Attorney Bertolino were aware of Gabby Petito’s demise when the statement at issue was released on September 14, 2021. We look forward to having a jury determine when the letter was written at the time of trial.”
Through attorney Matt Luka, Roberta Laundrie told Fox on Wednesday that the letter was written before Brian and Gabby left for their road trip.
“I truly loved my son, and simply wanted to convey to him how much he meant to me and how much I loved him. I am sure people use phrases all the time to express to their loved ones the depths of their love,” she said.
“Although I chose words that I thought would be impactful with Brian given our relationship, the letter was in no way related to Gabby. Please read the entire letter before you believe the hype put out by Pat Reilly.”
Laundrie, 23, was sought in Petito’s disappearance and death when authorities discovered his skeletal remains at the 25,000-acre Carlton Reserve near his parent’s home in North Port, Fla., on Oct. 20, 2021.
His remains were discovered about a month after Gabby’s were found in a Wyoming campground on Sept. 19 — 18 days after Brian returned home without her.
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