true crime

Gabby Petito’s mum forgives the man who murdered her daughter. But she does not forgive his mother.

The mother of Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old who was murdered at the hands of her fiancé during a cross-country road trip, has said she forgives him, but not his mother.

In June 2021, Gabby and her fiance Brian Laundrie embarked on a trip of a lifetime, however, things took a dark turn three months later when Gabby was nowhere to be found. Her family reported her missing, 10 days after Brian returned to his home in Florida alone.

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Video via Mamamia.

Shortly after Gabby's family filed a missing persons report, she was found dead in Wyoming due to "strangulation". Then, Brian disappeared, and his remains were found in October 2021. 

"I speak for myself here when I say Brian, I forgive you," said Gabby's mother, Nichole Schmidt at CrimeCon, a true crime convention in Nashville. "I needed to release myself from the chains of anger and bitterness, that I refuse to let your despicable act define the rest of my life."

"Your atrocious decision to take a life, my daughter’s life, has ignited a fire within me, a fierce determination to protect the innocent from falling victim to monsters like you," she said.

She labelled his mother, Roberta Laundrie as "pure evil".

"I see no empathy in your eyes, no remorse in your heart and no willingness to take responsibility for your actions," she continued.


"You do not deserve forgiveness," she said. "You deserve to be forgotten."

Before taking his own life, Brian went on the run and confessed that he had "ended" Gabby's life, in a notebook discovered by authorities. Investigators also found a backpack containing a letter from his mother, in which she offered to bring him a shovel and rubbish bags in case he needed "to dispose of a body".

The letter was made public in 2023 after Gabby's parents filed a civil lawsuit against Brian's parents, claiming they caused severe emotional distress in relation to her death. Roberta maintains that the letter was sent before the couple's trip, and that she had reached out to her son as she knew they were going through a rough patch in their relationship.

In the lawsuit, Gabby's parents accused Brian's family of knowing about Gabby's death well before her body was found but misled authorities and the public by expressing their concerns about her whereabouts. 

"While Joseph Petito and Nichole Schmidt were desperately searching for information concerning their daughter," the lawsuit, which was settled this year, read. "Christopher Laundrie and Roberta Laundrie were keeping the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie secret, and it is believed were making arrangements for him to leave the country."

During the CrimeCon panel, Nichole described her daughter, an aspiring travel blogger, as a "bright light" and a "talented artist". 

"We will continue to honour her memory, to cherish the moments we shared and to fight tirelessly for justice and change in her name," she said.

"I implore you all, live by these simple words directly from Gabby: 'Just be a nicer person.'"

Feature Image: Instagram @gabspetito.

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