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Laundrie admits to killing Petito in notebook pages, calls it 'merciful'

Laundrie admits to killing Petito in notebook pages, calls it 'merciful'
Brian Laundrie (L) and Gabby Petito take a selfie. File Photo courtesy of North Port Police/Twitter

June 25 (UPI) -- Brian Laundrie wrote in his notebook that he thought his killing of fiancée Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito last year in Wyoming was "merciful," pages released by his family attorney show.

"I ended her life, I thought it was merciful, that it is what she wanted, but I see now all the mistakes I made," the notebook read, according to a statement from the Laundrie family attorney, Steven Bertolino, obtained by WINK-TV in Fort Myers, Fla. "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."

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Laundrie, 23, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Bertolino said in November based on medical examiner results. His human remains were found in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in North Port, Fla., in October. His parents reported him missing on Sept. 13, less than two weeks after he returned home from a road trip out West with Petito.

Search teams found Petito's body Sept. 19 at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming and Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue determined she died from strangulation. Her parents reported her missing Sept. 11 amid her road trip with Laundrie. Petito, 22, had been living with Laundrie's parents when they set out on the trip earlier in the summer.

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On January 21, the FBI revealed that investigators found a notebook near Laundrie's body, which showed that he claimed responsibility for killing Petito.

Bertolino said in the statement to WINK that he received Laundrie's notebook Friday as part of an agreement that he and the Petito family attorney, Patrick Reilly, had with the FBI in Tampa, Fla., for the agency to return personal items in their custody that belonged to Petito and Laundrie.

"I would like to share with the public the note that the FBI alluded to when they said on January 21, 2022, that Brian claimed responsibility for the death of Gabby Petito," Bertolino added in the statement.

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He also said that he released the eight pages from the notebook for transparency, but would not comment further.

The release of the notebook pages comes after a Florida judge said earlier this week he will decide in the next few weeks whether or not to dismiss a civil lawsuit filed in March by Petito's parents against Laundrie's parents.

The Petito family alleges in the civil suit that the Laundries concealed that their son killed their daughter and allegedly attempted to help him flee the country. The lawyer for Laundrie's parents has argued that the suit should be dismissed because the parents were exercising their Fifth Amendment right not to speak to law enforcement.

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