Brian Laundrie's mother says the "Burn after reading" letter she sent to her son was a "quirky" expression of love and had nothing to do with Gabby Petito, the girlfriend he is believed to have killed before taking his own life weeks later. In a letter submitted to a Florida court, Roberta Laundrie said she wrote the letter months before her son and Petito departed on a cross-country road trip in the summer of 2021, WFLA reports. "The purpose of the letter was to reach out to Brian while he and I were experiencing a difficult period in our relationship," she wrote. “Brian and I always had a very open and communicative relationship and in the months prior to the trip our relationship had become strained."
"Brian and I shared a love of stories and some of the language in the letter was using similar phrases to describe the depth of a mother’s love," Roberta Laundrie wrote. She said the letter was inspired by children's books like The Runaway Bunny and Little Bear, and the "Burn after reading" message was a reference to writing guide Burn After Writing. She acknowledged that some of the words, taken out of context, "seem to have a connection with Brian’s actions and his taking of Gabby’s life," but said the full letter makes it clear there is no connection, Fox reports. According to court documents, Laundrie told her son she "would bring a shovel to help bury a body."
Roberta Laundrie described the letter as "light-hearted and quirky." "In some way, I did not want anyone else to read it as I know it is not the type of letter a mother writes to her adult son and I did not want to embarrass Brian," she wrote. Petito's parents are suing the Laundries, accusing them of inflicting emotional distress by letting them think their daughter was alive when they allegedly knew she was already dead. They are seeking to have the mother's letter declared admissible as evidence. Attorneys for Petito's parents say it also includes a reference to helping Laundrie get out of prison. (Read more Brian Laundrie stories.)