Family’s Secret Letter Sparks Courtroom Battle After Death Of Gabby Petito

A recent courtroom hearing in Sarasota County, Florida, shed light on a contentious legal battle between the parents of Gabby Petito and the family of her late fiancé, Brian Laundrie. The Petito family has filed a lawsuit against the Laundries, as well as their former attorney, alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress during the time Gabby was missing. The hearing focused on whether a letter written by Brian Laundrie’s mother, Roberta Laundrie, should be considered relevant to the case. The letter, recovered from Brian’s backpack after his remains were found, contained disturbing references to burying a body.

During the hearing, attorneys representing both sides argued their positions regarding the letter’s relevance. The Petito family attorney, Patrick Reilly, asserted that the letter alluded to criminal acts and highlighted Roberta Laundrie’s potential willingness to commit such acts. On the other hand, Brian Laundrie’s parents fought against turning over the letter, claiming it was not pertinent to the civil lawsuit brought by the Petitos.

The undated letter, which bore the instruction “burn after reading,” was discovered in Brian Laundrie’s possession when his remains were found in October 2021. The letter’s contents reportedly included references to obtaining a shovel and burying a body. Although the letter’s exact date remains unknown, Roberta Laundrie stated in an affidavit that she wrote it before Brian embarked on the ill-fated trip with Gabby Petito, hoping it would repair their strained relationship.

“As we all know the letter references burying a body bringing a shovel and burying a body,” Petito family attorney Patrick Reilly said. “Those are criminal acts, by the way, that Roberta Laundrie has said she would commit.”

Following a protracted legal exchange, Judge Danielle Brewer ruled that the letter could be relevant to the case, leading to an agreement that the plaintiff’s lawyers should at least receive a copy. The need for a confidentiality order was dismissed since the letter’s contents had already been revealed in open court. The decision on whether the letter will be made public remains uncertain, pending consultation between the Petito family and their attorney, Patrick Reilly.



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