Gabby Petito case: Brian Laundrie’s mother offered him ‘a shovel and garbage bags’ in ‘burn after reading’ letter
Brian Laundrie’s mother offered him “a shovel and garbage bags” if he needed to dispose of a body, according to a “burn after reading” letter, court documents show.
The parents of Laundrie’s fiancee Gabby Petito have been given the letter after a Florida judge denied a request from his parents to withhold it.
The Petitos are suing the Laundries for emotional distress following their daughter’s death while the pair were travelling together.
The letter was released after arguments by lawyers as to whether it is relevant to the lawsuit, which is set to be heard in May next year.
Gabby’s body was found at Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest in September 2021 and her death was ruled a homicide by manual strangulation.
Laundrie took his own life the following month, but the FBI said that he had written in a notebook that he was responsible for her death.
The “burn after reading” letter was found in his backpack.
The Petito family’s lawyer shared a copy of the letter, written by Roberta Laundrie, with NBC News
‘If you need to dispose of a body, I will show up with a shovel and garbage bags’
She had said: “I just want you to remember I will always love you, and I know you will always love me.
“You are my boy.
“Nothing can make me stop loving you, nothing will or could ever divide us no matter what we do, or where we go or what we say – we will always love each other.
“If you’re in jail, I will bake a cake with a file in it.
“If you need to dispose of a body, I will show up with a shovel and garbage bags.
“If you fly to the moon, I will be watching the skies for your re-entry.
“If you say you hate my guts, I’ll get new guts,” the letter continued.
‘Nothing can separate us… not even sin’
She included a Bible verse from the book of Romans and ended the letter by saying: “(Nothing can separate us: not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not threats, not even sin, not the thinkable or unthinkable can get between us.) ~ Not time. Not miles and miles and miles.”
In an affidavit, Mrs Laundrie said that she had written the letter to her son at a time when their relationship was “strained”, giving it to him before he and Gabby left for their travels.
“I was trying to connect with Brian and repair our relationship as he was planning to leave home – and I had hoped this letter would remind him how much I loved him,” she wrote.
“While I used words that seem to have a connection with Brian’s actions and his taking of Gabby’s life, I never would have fathomed the events that unfolded months later between Brian and Gabby would reflect the words in my letter.”
Letter ‘in no way related to Gabby’
In a statement through her family’s lawyer, Mrs Laundrie added: “The letter to Brian was written prior to Gabby and Brian leaving my home for their trip.
“I truly loved my son, and simply wanted to convey to him how much he meant to me and how much I loved him. I am sure people use phrases all the time to express to their loved ones the depths of their love.
“Although I chose words that I thought would be impactful with Brian given our relationship, the letter was in no way related to Gabby.”
Three dead and five injured in shooting at US motorcycle rally
Three people have been killed and at least five injured in a shooting at a popular motorcycle rally in a New Mexico resort town.
The shooting at around 5pm local time on Saturday involved members of motorcycle gangs attending the 41st annual Red River Memorial Motorcycle rally.
It happened between two shops on Red River’s main street.
One of the victims died in hospital. Information on the extent of the injuries was unavailable.
The victims were transported to hospitals in Denver, Albuquerque and the nearby town of Taos.
Local mayor Linda Calhoun said the shooters have been apprehended.
State police did not provide any information about arrests but confirmed that the scene is secure and there is “no ongoing threat to public safety”.
Ms Calhoun said: “Our number one priority is the safety and wellbeing of our local community.
“We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we work through this very difficult time together.”
Officials urged businesses in Red River to remain closed on Sunday.
The governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham, said she was in contact with Ms Calhoun and law enforcement regarding the shooting.
“My thoughts are with the Red River community following this violent incident,” she tweeted.
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The mayor of nearby Taos, Pascual Maestas, issued an emergency proclamation placing the town under a curfew from 10pm on Saturday until 4am on Sunday with an immediate ban on alcohol sales.
Red River has a population of around 500 and is in the southern Rocky Mountains. It is around 75 miles northeast of New Mexico’s capital Santa Fe.
The rally draws around 30,000 people to the town every year.
Mother pleads guilty to murder after six-year-old son starves to death in Arizona
A mother has pleaded guilty to murder and child abuse over the death of her six-year-old son in Arizona.
Elizabeth Archibeque, 26, reached a plea deal with prosecutors this month and could face life in prison under the first-degree murder charge.
Her son, Deshaun Martinez, had been locked inside a small bedroom closet without food until he died in March 2020, reported the Arizona Daily Sun.
A post-mortem found the child starved to death.
When he died, he weighed just 18lbs (8.1kg) – which is well below average for his age.
The boy had a “skeletal appearance” because he had almost no fat on his body.
Archibeque was charged along with the boy’s father, Anthony Martinez, and his grandmother, Ann Martinez. The cases were being tried separately.
The boy’s parents initially put their son’s malnourished state down to a medical condition and to taking diet or caffeine pills.
Eventually, they told police they kept Deshaun and his older brother in a closet in their Flagstaff apartment for 16 hours a day and gave them little to eat. The brother survived.
Police said the youngsters were confined there as punishment for stealing food while the parents slept.
The adults told officers that Deshaun had been in the closet for “about a month”.
Both Anthony Martinez and Ann Martinez reportedly have previously pleaded not guilty.
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According to the terms of the plea agreement, Archibeque will not be eligible for probation.
She will be sentenced in the coming weeks.
If she gets life, she will not be eligible for any kind of parole.
Joe Biden and Kevin McCarthy reach ‘agreement in principle’ on raising US debt ceiling
President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy have reached an “agreement in principle” on raising the US debt ceiling, according to sources in Washington.
The tentative deal would bring to an end the months-long stalemate between the Republican controlled Congress and Democrat run White House.
Currently, the debt ceiling stands at $31.4trn (£25.4trn) with the new limit yet to be announced.
Mr Biden and Mr McCarthy held a 90-minute phone call on Saturday evening to discuss the deal, as the 5 June deadline looms.
Following the conversation, the speaker tweeted: “I just got off the phone with the president a bit ago.
“After he wasted time and refused to negotiate for months, we’ve come to an agreement in principle that is worthy of the American people.”
During a very brief press conference on Capitol Hill Mr McCarthy said they “still have more work to do tonight to finish the writing of it”, adding that he expects to finish writing the bill on Sunday, then hold a vote on Wednesday.
The deal would avert an economically destabilising default, so long as they succeed in passing it through the narrowly divided Congress before the Treasury Department runs short of money to cover all its obligations.
Republicans have pushed for steep cuts to spending and other conditions, including new work requirements on some benefit programmes for low-income Americans and for funds to be stripped from the Internal Revenue Service, the US tax agency.
They said they want to slow the growth of the US debt, which is now roughly equal to the annual output of the country’s economy.
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Exact details of the deal were not immediately available, but negotiators have agreed to cap non-defence discretionary spending at 2023 levels for two years, in exchange for a debt ceiling increase over a similar period, according to Reuters news agency.
The impasse frightened the financial markets, weighing on stocks and forcing the US to pay record-high interest rates in some bond sales.
A default would take a far heavier toll, economists say, likely pushing America into recession, rocking the world economy and cause unemployment to spike.
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