“If you’re in jail I’ll bake a cake with a file in it,” Roberta Laundrie wrote to son Brian.
Cheyenne, Wyo. • The mother of the man who killed Gabby Petito told her son in an undated letter that she would “dispose of a body” if necessary because she loved him so much, according to copies of the note, first released this week was publicly shared by lawyers for Petito’s parents.
Roberta Laundrie’s handwritten note, which reads “burn after reading” on the envelope, was released after a Florida judge ruled on Wednesday that the letter could be used as evidence in a lawsuit. The Petitos sued Brian Laundrie’s parents, accusing them of knowing their son murdered Gabby Petito and helping him cover it up for nearly a month before her body was found in western Wyoming in September 2021, causing mental anguish, pain and suffering.
The letter reads, among other things: “We will always love each other. If you’re in prison, I’ll bake a cake with a file in it. If you need to dispose of a body, I’ll come with a shovel and garbage bags.”
Whether the letter was written before or after Brian Laundrie strangled Petito is a matter of dispute between the parents.
Roberta Laundrie, in an affidavit in the Florida case, alleges that she gave it to her son just before he and Petito left for an intercity van trip in early June 2021.
Roberta Laundrie and her son were having difficulties in their relationship at the time, three months before 23-year-old Brian Laundrie killed 22-year-old Petito, the statement filed with the court said.
“I have attempted to contact Brian and restore our relationship as he was planning to leave home,” the statement said. “I was hoping this letter would remind him how much I loved him.”
The Petito family have expressed doubts about Roberta Laundrie’s alleged timing of publishing her letter, suggesting that it was in fact written after Petito’s death.
A “reasonable conclusion” can be drawn from the letter that Roberta Laundrie knew of Petito’s death when the laundries issued a statement on September 14, 2021 – five days before her body was found – saying they hoped that she would be reunited with her family, the Petito family said in a statement on Thursday.
“We look forward to a jury deciding when the letter was written,” the statement said.
A search for Brian Laundrie ended in his suicide and the discovery of his body at a Florida wildlife sanctuary in October 2021.
The letter “may appear ill-worded, but that was never his intention,” laundries attorney Matthew Luka wrote in a March motion to persuade the judge not to allow the letter’s use in the case.
Along with statements about the disposal of a body and “a cake with a file in it,” Roberta Laundrie tells her son in her letter that if he said he hated her, and the sky, she would “get heartened.” would be waiting for his return if he ever returned had flown to the moon, Luka stressed in an email statement on Friday.
The statements were written before the van trip and “demonstrably not meant seriously” because “they are not about events that would realistically occur,” said Luka.
Roberta Laundrie added in a statement from her attorney on Friday, “Although I chose words that I thought would have an effect on Brian given our relationship, the letter was in no way related to Gabby.”
Brian Laundrie and Petito were engaged and in the summer of 2021 traveled across the US in a van, visiting scenic spots in Colorado and Utah before heading further north. They documented their journey extensively and in real time on social media.
Police in Moab, Utah, stopped the van after it was traveling at high speed and hit a curb at the entrance to Arches National Park in August 2021. Petito told police that she and Laundrie had had an argument. Officers separated the couple for the night and pursued no charges.
Search forces found Petito’s body on September 19, 2021 near a campground on the edge of Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. A coroner determined that she had been strangled a few weeks earlier.
Associate Press writer Terry Spencer of West Palm Beach, Florida contributed to this report.