(Trends Wide) — Before taking his own life, Brian Laundrie wrote in a notebook that he was responsible for Gabby Petito’s death, according to the FBI.
“A review of the notebook revealed written statements by Mr. Laundrie in which he takes responsibility for the death of Ms. Petito,” the FBI’s Denver Field Office said in a statement released Friday.
The notebook was discovered in October, in the same area as Laundrie’s remains, in Florida’s Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park, authorities said.
Petito and Laundrie’s families have reached an agreement on how the couple’s belongings, including a notebook, will be distributed, Laundrie’s family attorney Steve Bertolino said Friday, about four months after Petito’s remains were found. in Wyoming.
Laundrie had been the subject of a week-long manhunt when her body was found. His family was informed that he shot himself in the head and his death was ruled a suicide, Bertolino said in November.
Bertolino did not say which family will receive the notebook. The Petito family met with the FBI in Tampa, Florida, this week and reached an agreement to distribute their and Laundrie’s belongings, he said.
The Petitos thanked the FBI for their support, according to a statement from the family’s attorney.
“We truly appreciate the diligent and painstaking efforts of the FBI in this extremely complicated case. The quality and quantity of the facts and the information collected by the FBI leave no doubt (that) Brian Laundrie murdered Gabby,” he said.
The news comes a week after an independent investigator determined that two police officers who stopped Petito’s truck in Moab, Utah, on August 12, should be placed on probation for “several unintentional errors” during the traffic stop. .
The officers agreed not to charge Petito, who had admitted hitting Laundrie first, as long as she and Laundrie spent the night apart. The independent investigator found that the officers neglected their duty by not pressing charges.
Laundrie, 23, and Petito, 22, took a road trip in Petito’s converted Ford Transit van in June and documented their trips on social media. Laundrie returned alone, driving the van to his parents’ home in Florida on Sept. 1.
While police were searching for Petito in mid-September, Laundrie disappeared. Petito’s remains were found a few days later. His death was ruled a homicide by manual strangulation.
The specific night that led to Petito’s death remains a mystery. The FBI described Laundrie as a “person of interest” in her murder, but he was not charged with her murder. His remains were found Oct. 20 in an area that had been underwater during previous searches in a 25,000-acre preserve in North Port.
Laundrie’s father, who was searching with authorities when his son’s remains were found, discovered the notebook near Laundrie’s body. Experts said at the time that the notebook could be key to providing answers. The notebook was wet and officials did not immediately say if they got any information from it.
Bertolino told Trends Wide: “Gabby and Brian are no longer with their families and this tragedy caused enormous emotional pain and suffering to all who loved one or both of them. We can only hope that with the closure of the case today, each family can begin to heal and move on and find peace in and with the memories of their children. May Gabby and Brian rest in peace.”
Trends Wide’s Alta Spells, Taylor Romine and Eliott C. Mclaughlin contributed to this report.