TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A portion of the notebook Brian Laundrie left behind as a confession to his murder of Gabby Petito was revealed Friday as attorneys for the families met with the FBI in Tampa to take possession of personal items.
“I ended her life,” a line from the notebook reads. “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.”
The FBI announced in January that Laundrie’s notebook found near the 23-year-old’s remains at the Carlton Reserve contained written statements where he claimed responsibility for Gabby Petito’s death.
The notebook has become a focal point of the public’s fascination with the case, as well as potential evidence in the civil lawsuit filed by Petito’s parents against Laundrie’s parents.
In the message, Laundrie claimed Petito’s death “occurred as an unexpected tragedy.” Laundrie wrote he and Gabby were on hike back to their van in Wyoming when night fell.
“I hear a splash and a scream, I could barely see,” Laundrie wrote. “I couldn’t find her for a moment, shouted her name. I found her breathing heavily, gasping and [unclear] was freezing cold.”
Laundrie wrote that he pulled Gabby out of the water, but claimed she couldn’t tell him where she was hurt. He added Gabby had a “small bump on her forehead that eventually got larger,” and had pain in her feet and wrists.
“I don’t know the extent of Gabby’s injuries, only that she was in extreme pain,” Laundrie said.
Laundrie claimed he returned home in the days following Gabby’s death to spend his remaining days with family.
“I am ending my life not because of a fear of punishment but rather because I can’t stand to live another day without her,” Laundrie wrote. “I’ve lost our whole future together, every moment we could have shared.”
“I’m sorry for everyone’s loss,” he added.
The FBI collected the notebook, along with a backpack and the revolver Laundrie used to fatally shoot himself, from the scene on Oct. 20, 2021. Since then, it is believed to have remained with the FBI, despite the agency announcing the closure of their investigation on Jan. 21.
If you or a loved one are experiencing thoughts of suicide, the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay can be reached by dialing 211. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline can be reached at 800-273-8255.