Brian Laundrie’s mother claims the controversial letter to her son in which she offered to “help bury a body” was written months before he killed his girlfriend Gabby Petito and had nothing to do with her murder.

Speaking out about the note for the first time, Roberta Laundrie said in a sworn affidavit that parts of the “quirky” letter — including writing she “would bring a shovel to help bury a body” and inking “burn after reading” on the envelope — were taken out of context, Fox 13 reported.

The letter has not been released, however in December Patrick Reilly, an attorney representing Petito’s parents Joe Petito and Nichole Schmidt filed a motion to have it included in their civil lawsuit against the Laundries.

“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 to the Laundrie’s lawyer Matt Luka in a Dec. 5 letter regarding the documents they should hand over as part of the suit.

Roberta Laundrie admitted to writing “burn after reading” on the envelope, but claimed it was a reference to a book that she and Brian both enjoyed. She said she wrote the letter when their relationship was strained.

Laundrie’s mom says that the letter was written months before Gabby Petito was killed.

While not directly addressing the reference to burying a body, Laundrie said she used “similar phrases to describe the depth of a mother’s love” and included references to children’s books like “Little Bear” and “The Runaway Bunny,” according to the affidavit.

She said some of the “quirky” parts of the letter were references to inside jokes that the two shared.

“There were some other phrases that I used in the letter, which are not found in the books I shared with Brian as a child. However, these phrases are common enough in our circle of friends and family, to describe who you could turn to in the most troubling times of your life,” Roberta Laundrie wrote in her affidavit. 

“While I use the words that seem to have a connection with Brian‘s actions and his taking Gabby‘s life, I never would have fathomed the events that unfolded months later between Brian and Gabby would reflect the words in my letter,” she wrote.

Brian Laundrie and Gabby Petito
Laundrie killed Petito while the two were on a cross-country road trip.

Laundrie said she gave her son the letter in May 2021 — just before Brian and Gabby’s cross country trip during which he killed her, according to the report. The letter is undated, attorneys for both families agreed. 

“The words in the letter could never have been a comment on that tragic situation, as they were written so many months before,” Laundrie wrote in the court document. “My words to Brian were meant to convey my love and support for my son through a light-hearted and quirky reminder that my love for him was not diminished, and could not be shaken by the miles of separation we would soon be faced with.”

Brian Laundrie’s remains were found on October 20, 2021 in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park — just 10 minutes from his parents’ North Port, Florida home.

Gabby Petito
Gabby Petito’s remains were found in a Wyoming national park in September 2021.
Moab City Police Department

Laundrie, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, was found with a backpack full of several letters, a suicide note and a notebook in which he admitted to killing Petito.

Reilly has argued that “the content of the letter seems to indicate that it was written after Gabby’s death.”

“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,” Reilly told Fox News.

The civil case against the Laundries is slated to begin in August.

Patrick Reilly

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