The parents of a US blogger who authorities say was strangled by her boyfriend have released a letter from the alleged killer’s mother in which she talks about burying a body.
Gabby Petito’s family are suing the parents of her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, for emotional distress.
On Wednesday a judge ruled the Petitos could include Roberta Laundrie’s letter to her son in their civil lawsuit.
The death of Gabby Petito, 22, in 2021 drew international attention.
Laundrie shot himself after his girlfriend was found strangled in a Wyoming campground.
His parents – who have not been charged with any crime in connection with Petito’s death – had asked the judge to keep the letter out of the case.
In the note, Mrs Laundrie writes to her son: “If you’re in jail I will bake a cake and put a file in it.
“If you need to dispose of a body. I will show up with a shovel and garbage bags.”
She wrote “burn after reading” on the envelope that contained the letter.
In a previously filed court document, Mrs Laundrie said the letter merely contained “quirky” references to her son’s favourite childhood books.
She also said she had written the letter before her son left on his cross-country trip with Petito.
But the Petito family said in a statement to the BBC on Thursday that a “reasonable inference is it was written after Gabby Petito was murdered”.
In court on Wednesday, CNN reports that Petito family attorney Patrick Reilly said of the letter: “Those are criminal acts, by the way, that Roberta Laundrie has said she would commit.”
Sarasota Circuit Court Judge Danielle Brewer declined to issue an order blocking the use of the letter in the case.
Last year, the Petito and Laundrie families reached a $3m (£2.4m) settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Petito’s parents.
The couple had been documenting their cross-country road trip on social media following their engagement before Laundrie returned alone to his family home in North Port, Florida, in September 2021.
Her body was discovered near Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park later that month.
Laundrie’s body was found a month later in a Florida nature reserve near his parents’ home, the FBI said.
The letter was discovered by investigators.
Petito’s disappearance and the aftermath of the investigation captured the interest of US internet sleuths.