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Brian Laundrie's FBI file reveals depths of his 'deceptive' ways, investigator says

An extensive list of items seized from Laundrie's family home was included in investigative reports the FBI released to the public.
Brian Laundrie, Gabby Petito
Posted at 7:38 PM, Jun 11, 2024

Right up until his death by suicide, Brian Laundrie tried to deceive law enforcement as they searched for answers in the murder of Laundrie's girlfriend, Gabby Petito, according to investigators.

Even a journal entry in which Laundrie spoke of killing himself seemed off, an unidentified agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation wrote in a search warrant application.

"My real options are to run off entirely on my own — buy a piece of land, or kill myself. Under the mattress I'm on, there is a loaded .357 magnum revolver. A pull of the trigger and all my problems will be over," Laundrie wrote in an entry dated Oct. 26, 2018.

The entry now seems prophetic given the couple's tragic demise. But the agent who reviewed the journal said he had good reason to suspect Laundrie altered the date to 2018, three years before the couple's ill-fated cross-country road trip. After all, this was the same person who sent text messages between his and Petito's phones after he beat and strangled Petito to death and left her body in a Wyoming campground.

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"Based on my knowledge about this investigation, to include my knowledge of deceptive actions Laundrie has taken in the past several weeks, I have reason to question the accuracy of the date listed above this journal entry," the agent wrote.

The journal was among an extensive list of items law enforcement seized from the Laundrie family home in late September 2019 in the wake of the discovery of Petito's remains. The lists of items was included in 366 pages of investigative reports the Federal Bureau of Investigation released to the public through its website.

The file includes dozens of pages of police reports and witness statements that authorities used to piece together a timeline of the couple's last days, most of which is already public knowledge.

New revelations came from photos and descriptions of Laundrie's personal items, a hodgepodge of what might be considered everyday items if not for the owner: computers, clothing, camera equipment and camping gear; a binder of photos of the couple; calendars, identity documents, receipts for firearms purchases; National Parks guides, stickers and patches; books including Chuck Palahnuik's "Choke," the story of a con man who pretends to choke on food in upscale restaurants to collect money and sympathy, Cormac McCarthy's "No Country for Old Men" and "The Road," and the religious magazine, "The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom."

While searching for weapons or trace evidence that could be connected to Petito's death, investigators uncovered a weapons cache that included firearms, live rounds, a sheathed knife, brass knuckles, a crossbow and arrows.

Perhaps most revelatory are the excerpts of Laundrie's writings and drawings, the photos of which are grainy and hard to make out. Collectively, the items point to a troubled mind with violent tendencies that in hindsight could be interpreted as warning signs.

Investigators recovered a sketchbook with drawings of a skull surrounded by the words "kill" and "trust no one." Another drawing showed the phrase "Let it Be" tattooed into what appears to be a woman's forearm, the same tattoo Petito had.

A newly-released FBI file on Brian Laundrie includes images of weapons and a dead animal drawing that agents found in the Laundrie family home while investigating Gabby Petito’s murder.
A newly-released FBI file on Brian Laundrie includes images of weapons and a dead animal drawing that agents found in the Laundrie family home while investigating Gabby Petito’s murder.

Yet another drawing showed a half-man, half-animal with an arrow piercing its torso. Arrows were found near Petito's body, according to an investigative report.

By the time investigators descended on the Laundrie home in North Port, Laundrie had disappeared after returning home and dropping off his belongings. His body was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot weeks later in a park near his family's home.

Investigators also found items belonging to Petito in the Laundrie home. Among her clothing and makeup, a flat iron and a journal, investigators recovered an undated letter from Petito to Laundrie. In the letter, Petito wrote, "You in pain is killing me. I'm not trying to be negative but I'm frustrated there's not more I can do."