New FBI Files On Brian Laundrie Suggest Gabby Petito's Killer Was More Troubled Than Anyone Knew

More details about Brian Laundrie's state of mind before he killed his ex-fiancée Gabby Petito have come to light as seen in newly surfaced FBI files. According to Petito's lawyer, the evidence shows that Laundrie exhibited signs of being capable of committing gruesome acts long before the tragic incident.

In August 2021, the "Van Life" vlogger was reported missing just weeks after she and Laundrie began their cross-country trip, which they had planned to document on YouTube. Her body was found in a Wyoming park the next month, and the FBI quickly determined that her death was the result of a homicide. It also didn't take long for the authorities identified Laundrie as a person of interest. By October 2021, his remains were discovered in a Florida park, with his family attorney confirming that he had died by suicide. Upon further investigation of his belongings, including a notebook left in the park, it was then revealed that Laundrie had confessed to killing Petito. "All logical investigative steps have been concluded in this case," FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said in a statement in January 2022, according to ABC News. "The investigation did not identify any other individuals other than Brian Laundrie directly involved in the tragic death of Gabby Petito."

While the notebook's exact contents had not been released to the public, The New York Post obtained more evidence that shed more light on his psyche. It's now clearer than ever that Laundrie had been on a downward spiral before he killed Petito as evidenced by disturbing drawings and notes found in his diary. 

Authorities discovered alarming drawings and ramblings by Brian Laundrie

Before Brian Laundrie's body was found, authorities raided his family home and discovered a trove of disturbing evidence. According to The New York Post, Laundrie's belongings included drawings of skulls, scribbles that read "Trust no one" and "Kill," and what seemed like diary entries detailing his plans to end his life.

"About a year ago I went in to a type of mania where I was smashing holes in the wall with my head ... pouring gasoline on myself to burn alive," it read. "A pull of the trigger and all my problems will be over." What's more, the FBI also found various firearms, weapons, and bullets from his possessions. "In retrospect, it tells us that Brian dealt with mental health issues and was clearly a narcissist and manipulator capable of violence," Brian Stewart, the family lawyer of the Petitos, told the outlet. "We know that he's a manipulator who hid his intentions."

In November 2022, Gabby Petito's family won a $3 million wrongful death lawsuit against Laundrie's estate, as reported by NBC News. However, Nicole Schmidt, Petito's mother, still harbors no forgiveness for Laundrie's parents, particularly his mother, Roberta, who was accused of stonewalling authorities during the investigation. "I speak for myself here when I say Brian, I forgive you ... I refuse to let your despicable act define the rest of my life," she said at the CrimeCon 2024, surprising everyone (via People). But she was far less forgiving towards Roberta. "You are the dark. You are the sociopath that everyone fears," Schmidt added. "You do not deserve forgiveness. You deserve to be forgotten and dehumanized. You epitomize pure evil."