The attorney for Brian Laundrie’s family has released a notebook found near his body in which he admitted to killing his fiancée Gabby Petito.
The 23-year-old, who died by suicide after being named a person of interest in the murder of the YouTube star, wrote in his notes: “I ended her life.”
“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. But from the moment I decided, took away her pain, I knew I couldn’t go on without her.”
He claimed that Gabby was injured while they tried to cross a stream.
Brian noted his fiancée had a “bump on her forehead” and was “freezing cold” and “begging for an end to her pain”.
He also called her death an “unexpected tragedy, adding: “I’m sorry for everyone this will affect, gabby was the love of my life… I’m so very sorry to her family because I love them.”
“I am sorry to my family, this is a shock to them as well as a terrible greif (sic),” he added.
A lawyer for the Petito family, Patrick Reilly, told People that Laundrie’s assertion that the killing was merciful and stemmed from an accident is “nonsense”.
He added: “He is writing a letter as though he wants people to feel sorry for him.”
In September last year, the body of Gabby, 22, was located in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. A medical examiner determined she died by homicidal strangulation.
Brian, who disappeared around the same time, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the Florida wilderness in October 2021.
Shortly before her disappearance, Gabby and Brian were pulled over by police in Moab, Utah, following reports of a domestic dispute.
In a 911 audio recording provided by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, a caller claimed they were driving by a white van with a Florida license plate when they saw “the gentleman was slapping the girl”.
The caller explained: “Then we stopped. They ran up and down the sidewalk. He proceeded to hit her, hopped in the car and they drove off.”
Moab Police Department Chief Bret Edge said his officers responded to the incident, located the van and pulled the couple over.
The police released the bodycam footage of the traffic stop, which showed Gabby crying in the van before being asked to step out of it.
When asked by police why she was crying, the 22-year-old said: “I’m just crying because we’ve been fighting this morning. Just personal issues.”
Gabby also admitted to slapping her fiancé, who had scratches on his face, but insisted she didn’t mean to harm him.
According to the police report, the couple stated that Brian did not hit Gabby.
Chief Bret Edge said: “Insufficient evidence existed to justify criminal charges.”
The police officers on scene suggested that the couple spend the night apart, organising a hotel room for Brian and advising Gabby – who the report described as “confused and emotional” – to spend the night in the van. It is understood the couple did so.