All The Chilling Details Found In Brian Laundrie's Notebook Confession

In October 2021, human remains were found in Florida's Carlton Reserve. Those remains, as well as a number of other personal belongings discovered nearby, were later confirmed to belong to Brian Laundrie, the fiancé of aspiring vanlife social media celebrity, Gabby Petito. Among the other personal effects found in the reserve was a backpack, a notebook, and a revolver, all of which belonged to Laundrie, based on reports from NPR. Some of the written contents of Laundrie's notebook have now been revealed, according to Fox News.

Petito had disappeared in a high-profile missing person case for several weeks before Laundrie's remains were recovered. Per NPR her body was eventually discovered in Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest on September 19, 2021, where the couple had traveled. Laundrie himself went missing a short time after returning to his parent's home in Florida. He was a person of interest in Petito's disappearance and death, which was caused by strangulation, according to the coroner's report. 

At the time, Laundrie was also suspected of using a debit card and PIN that did not belong to him after Petito's last known contact with family members, charging in excess of $1,000. Both the items found and Laundrie's remains were submerged in water for some time, which delayed their discovery, per CNN. A forensic examination revealed that Laundrie's remains had been partially eaten by animals, as The Daily Beast reports.

Laundrie allegedly confessed to killing Petito

Authorities searching for Brian Laundrie at the reserve were led there on a tip from his parents. In the notebook recovered by authorities, Laundrie allegedly confessed in writing to killing Petito, as Fox News goes on to report. Shortly before Petito disappeared, authorities engaged with the couple while they traveled in Utah. A concerned bystander reported a possible domestic disturbance, as CNN notes. In that report, a man, later confirmed to be Laundrie, was seen slapping and hitting a woman, who was identified as Petito. Petito and Laundrie declined to press charges and were instructed to spend the night apart. Petito was visibly upset in her interaction with authorities.

Though the notebook was underwater for some time, large portions of Laundrie's writing were still legible. In what was written, Laundrie apologized to his family. He also requested in a general comment — possibly directed toward the public and media — to not make things any harder for his family than they already would be. Laundrie also wrote (via Fox News) that his family had lost both a son and a daughter, and he referred to Petito as the most wonderful girl in the world. "Gabby I'm sorry," Laundrie wrote in the notebook. 

Elsewhere in the notebook, Laundrie seemed intent on taking his own life, writing, "From the moment I decided, took away her pain, I knew I couldn't go on without her" (via TMZ). Suicide was later confirmed to be Laundrie's cause of death, per CNN.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Laundrie claimed Petito was injured

Although Brain Laundrie had confessed in writing to killing Gabby Petito, he said it was a mercy killing, and that she had been injured while hiking. "I ended her life," read a portion of the writing found in Brian Laundrie's notebook (via Fox News). "I thought it was merciful, that it is what she wanted, but I see now all the mistakes I made. I panicked. I was in shock," it read. 

In his written confession, Laundrie said Petito fell into a creek. She then shivered and cried out in pain to such a degree that Laundrie decided to kill her, according to his notebook confession. Laundrie also described an attempt to get help for Petito, but that he was unable to because of shock. Petito's alleged injuries were only described as a bump on the head which grew in size, according to Laundrie, and symptoms potentially consistent with hypothermia.

Although Petito's autopsy showed possible signs of hypothermia, a condition that's difficult to detect post-mortem, this justification for killing Petito has been rejected by experts. Speaking to Fox News, criminal profiler and psychotherapist John Kelly called Laundrie's version of events "farcical." In that same recovered notebook, Laundrie also confessed to sending a series of text messages impersonating Petito, which authorities believe were meant to create the illusion that Petito was still alive, according to NPR.

The Petito case is now closed, per the FBI

Gabby Petito was 22 when she was murdered, and Laundrie was 23 when he died from what was later confirmed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It's estimated that Petito had been dead three to four weeks before her remains were recovered. The intense media attention the Petito missing persons investigation received sparked intense debate over how domestic violence incidents are handled by law enforcement, and how similar missing persons cases are handled, and especially those involving missing women of color, as NPR goes on to note. 

After portions of Laundrie's notebook were released to the public, authorities confirmed there was no other person of interest in the case. On that note, Denver FBI special agent in charge Michael Schneider said (via NPR), "All logical investigative steps have been concluded. The investigation did not identify any other individuals other than Brian Laundrie directly involved in the tragic death of Gabby Petito," the FBI statement read. The entirety of Brain Laundrie's written notebook confession is available to read now via The Daily Beast.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.