Watch CBS News

Gabby Petito implored boyfriend who later killed her to stop calling her names, letter released by FBI shows

Gabby Petito: The Untold Story
Gabby Petito: The Untold Story 42:00

Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old who was killed by fiancé Brian Laundrie in 2021, wrote a letter asking him to stop calling her names and telling him she would "always have (his) back," according to recently released FBI documents. 

The letter is among over 300 pages of documents related to the investigation. The handwritten letter is not dated. 

In the letter, Petito referenced a fight between the couple and alluded to stressors that Laundrie had been experiencing.

"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," Petito wrote, in part. "I'm always going to have your back. ... I just love you too much, like so much it hurts. So you in pain is killing me. I'm not trying to be negative but I'm frustrated there's not more I can do." 

A letter from Gabby Petito to Brian Laundrie. Federal Bureau of Investigation

Petito and Laundrie, both from Florida, were on a cross-country trip that she documented on social media when she was killed in 2021. Petito last posted on social media on August 25 and was reported missing by her parents on Sept. 11 after not hearing from her outside of a few strange text messages. On Sept. 15, Laundrie was named a person of interest in her disappearance. An arrest warrant was later issued. 

Petito's remains were found in Wyoming on Sept. 19 and identified two days later. Her death was ruled a homicide via strangulation

It wasn't until Oct. 20 that Laundrie's remains were found by the FBI at a Florida reserve where they had been searching for him. The FBI also found personal items, including a notebook where he claimed responsibility for Petito's death. The remains were identified the next day, and a month later, Laundrie's attorney announced that he had died by suicide. 

Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie.  CBS2

The Petito family and the Laundrie family engaged in a wrongful death lawsuit filed after authorities concluded that Laundrie had strangled Petito. Petito's family also alleged that Laundrie's family knew their daughter was dead weeks before her remains were found, and knew where her body was

The Petito family received a $3 million settlement that their attorney said would go to the Gabby Petito Foundation, which is dedicated to searching for missing people and curbing domestic violence

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.