Confession to Killing Gabby Petito Found in Brian Laundrie’s Notebook: “I Ended Her Life”

Confession to Killing Gabby Petito Found in Brian Laundrie's Notebook: "I Ended Her Life"

In a journal discovered close to Brian Laundrie’s body, the 23-year-old confesses to killing his fiancée, Gabby Petito, according to the family’s lawyer.

Laundrie wrote, “I ended her life,” in the journal, which was discovered in October 2021, following his suicide. (Fox News earlier on Friday reported on the publication of the notebook.)

According to Laundrie, “I felt it was merciful, that it was what she wanted, but I recognize now all the mistakes I did.” “I was scared. I was stunned. But I knew I couldn’t continue without her as soon as I made the decision to end her suffering.”

The body of Petito, 22, was discovered in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park in September 2021. She was strangled to death, according to a medical examiner. Laundrie was discovered dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the Florida woods in October of last year. Laundrie went missing around the same time, prompting widespread calls for his arrest.

Laundrie refers to Petito’s passing as an “unexpected catastrophe” in the diary, which lawyer Steven Bertolino gave to PEOPLE.

Confession to Killing Gabby Petito Found in Brian Laundrie's Notebook: "I Ended Her Life"

He claimed Petito was hurt as the couple attempted to cross a stream as they hurried back to their car before it grew too dark to see. Laundrie asserted that in addition to other wounds, Petito had a “little bump on her forehead that eventually got larger” and was “begging for an end to her misery.”

Patrick Reilly, an attorney for the Petito family, calls Laundrie’s claim that the killing was humane and the result of a “tragic accident” “nonsense.”

According to Reilly, “He is drafting a letter as though he wants people to feel bad for him.”

Reilly responds, “I don’t think there is anything that can make them feel better about it. I don’t know how the Petito family feels about Laundrie’s confession.”

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Suing the Family of Laundrie in Court

The family of Laundrie is the target of a legal lawsuit filed by Petito’s family. The lawsuit asserts that while authorities were devoting significant resources to a comprehensive missing person investigation, Christopher and Roberta Laundrie were aware of the location of Petito’s death.

Confession to Killing Gabby Petito Found in Brian Laundrie's Notebook: "I Ended Her Life"

Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt, Petito’s parents, are suing the Laundries for more than $30,000 in damages for the mental suffering they had as a result of their alleged dishonesty. The March petition also asserts that Christopher and Roberta conspired with Laundrie to cover up Petito’s death while organizing his escape.

The lawsuit further claims that Roberta blocked Nichole’s phone number and Facebook account in September to avoid contact as Nichole sought information about what happened to Petito and that instead of helping Joseph and Nichole locate their daughter, the Laundrie parents went on vacation with Brian and disregarded requests from Petito’s family.

According to the filing, which PEOPLE was able to obtain, “Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie exhibited extreme and outrageous conduct which constitutes behavior, under the circumstances, which goes beyond all possible bounds of decency and is regarded as shocking, atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community.”

Laundrie’s parents failed to appear in court on Wednesday for a hearing. Throughout the hearing, Bertolino repeatedly referred to the complaint as “baseless,” claiming that his clients were claiming their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.

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They Acted as Most People Would and Ought To, According to Bertolino

When Petito’s parents reported the teenager missing after she stopped responding to texts while traveling cross-country with Laundrie, the Petito and Laundrie families came into the public eye last summer. It was subsequently discovered that Laundrie had secretly returned to his parent’s home in Florida without Petito after abruptly ending the trip.

Confession to Killing Gabby Petito Found in Brian Laundrie's Notebook: "I Ended Her Life"

Laundrie noted in the journal, “Gabby was the love of my life, and I’m sorry for whoever this may harm. Because I adore her family, I sincerely apologize to them.”

“I am sorry to my family, this is a shock to them as well as a terrible grief (sic),” he added in his letter.

Bertolino stated, “Although I have chosen to release this letter as a matter of transparency I will not be commenting more as there are still procedures pending in Court,” in an email to PEOPLE that was sent along with the publication of the notebook.

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I'm a researcher and behavioural therapist with a PhD in Social Media. I also love to travel and drink coffee. Follow my adventures around the world, or just know that I really need to be back at the library.