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FBI Releases Gabby Petito's Handwritten Letter to Brian Laundrie: "Stop Crying!"

Gabby Petito wrote an apologetic letter to boyfriend Brian Laundrie before she was killed.

By Jill Sederstrom

Gabby Petito made a heartbreaking plea to her boyfriend and eventual killer Brian Laundrie in a love letter written before the couple embarked on their ill-fated cross-country trek.

“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 and I’m here with you. I’m always going to have your back,” Petito wrote. 

The hand-written letter was included in 366 pages of documents recently released by the FBI in the case, which chronicled the investigation after Petito disappeared in August of 2021 while on a cross-country trip with Laundrie to visit the nation’s national parks. Her body was discovered the next month in the Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. A coroner later determined that the 22-year-old had been strangled to death

Petito's Letter to Laundrie

Gabby Petito's Letter to Brian Laundrie provided by the FBI

In the undated letter, Petito professed her love for Laundrie and appeared to be apologizing for a fight they had, writing that she was sorry for getting “upset over a dumb piece of paper.” 

“Yes I can be a child sometimes, I know but its cause you give me this energy and I just love you too much, like so much it hurts,” she wrote. 

Petito mentioned coming “back from NY,” suggesting the letter was written before the couple embarked on the trip in a converted camper van. Petito also referenced the van in the letter’s second-page, according to The New York Post

“We can work on the van together and they are OUR dreams now,” she wrote.

She finished the letter by pleading with Laundrie to come home. 

“I hope you understand when I’m upset it’s cause you make me love you too much. Now…stop crying!!! and come home and say you love me with a big hug. I love you,” she penned.

Other Documents Released

The documents released by the FBI also included a disturbing set of drawings found in Laundrie’s belongings, which included a drawing of a skull and the word “Kill” and another paper that had “trust no one” repeatedly scrawled across it. 

The document also includes images of writings from Laundrie where he talks about wanting to kill himself and experiencing manic-type episodes. 

“My real options are to run off entirely on my own — buy a piece of land, or kill myself. Under the mattress I’m on, there is a loaded .357 magnum revolver. A pull of the trigger and all my problems will be over,” he wrote in one entry dated October 26, 2018. 

An FBI agent who reviewed the journal, however, questioned whether the date of the entry had been altered, writing that it could have simply been one of the “deceptive actions” Laundrie took after killing Petito, according to Court TV

Brian Stewart, the Petito family’s attorney, told The Post the writings suggest that Laundrie was “clearly a narcissist and manipulator capable of violence.” 

RELATED: Parents of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie "Reluctantly" Reach Settlement in Emotional Distress Lawsuit

The Events Leading Up to Petito's Disappearance

The couple was full of optimism when they embarked on the trip in the summer of 2021, even documenting their early “van life” adventures in a video on YouTube, which showed them frolicking on the beach, laughing and happily posing together. 

The picturesque image of the vacation began to crack on Aug. 12, 2021 when Moab Police stopped the couple after receiving a 911 call from someone he claimed to have seen a “gentleman slapping the girl” outside the Moonflower Community Cooperative in Moab, Utah.

Police ultimately let the couple go without any charges after Petito told authorities that she hit Laundrie first and was deemed the “primary aggressor,” according to body cam footage previously obtained by Oxygen.com. Her parents later filed a lawsuit against the department alleging the officers failed to realize she had been the victim.

Just weeks later, she would be killed. Her last known movements were on August 27, 2021 as surveillance footage captured the couple leaving Jackson, Wyoming, according to the documents released by the FBI. 

Laundrie returned to Florida in the van — without Petito — in early September. He disappeared himself just as the investigation into her disappearance was gaining momentum.

His remains were found on October 20, 2021 in the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in North Port, Florida. A coroner would later determine he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  Along with the body, investigators found a notebook where the FBI said he claimed responsibility for Petito’s death. 

In the aftermath of the tragedy, Petito’s parents have been focused on bringing attention to more missing persons cases, including those that have  traditionally not received as much media attention.

“We want to help all missing people,”  her father Joe Petito told People. “If the media doesn't continue doing this for all the people then that's a shame because it's not just Gabby that deserved that."