Gabby Petito’s mom forgives Brian Laundrie, but not his ‘evil’ mother

WATCH ABOVE: Global News coverage of the Gabby Petito / Brian Laundrie case.

Gabby Petito‘s mother says she forgives Brian Laundrie for killing her daughter, but will never extend the same forgiveness to Laundrie’s mother, Roberta Laundrie.

Nichole Schmidt made the admission at CrimeCon, a true crime convention in Nashville.

“I speak for myself here when I say Brian, I forgive you,” Schmidt said. “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.

A photo of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie, provided by the police. Courtesy North Port Police Department/TNS/ABACAPRESS.COM

“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 continued.

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Turning her attention to Roberta, however, she called the woman “pure evil,” Fox News reports.

“As for you, Roberta, and I call you out individually because you are evidently the mastermind that shattered your family and mine with your evil ways. I see no empathy in your eyes,” Petito’s mother said. “No remorse in your heart and no willingness to take responsibility for your actions.

FILE – Gabby Petito’s mother Nichole Schmidt speaks during a news conference as her husband Joseph Petito looks on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, in Salt Lake City. The Associated Press

“You are the dark. You are the sociopath that everyone fears. The one who appears so innocent and kind, but harbours darkness within your soul,” she continued. “You do not deserve forgiveness. You deserve to be forgotten and dehumanized. You epitomize pure evil.”

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In a since-settled civil lawsuit, Schmidt and her husband, Joseph Petito, accused Roberta and Laundrie’s father, Christopher Laundrie, of trying to help cover up their daughter’s murder.

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Petito, 22, was reported missing by her family on Sept. 11, 2021. At the time, she had been chronicling a cross-country van trip with her fiancé Laudrie, 23, on her popular social media accounts.

A nationwide search followed, with intense media and public attention focused on finding the pair.

Gabby Petito stands in front of a vehicle.
FILE – In this image taken from police body camera video provided by The Moab Police Department, Gabrielle (Gabby) Petito talks to a police officer after police pulled over the van she was travelling in with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, near the entrance to Arches National Park on Aug. 12, 2021. Moab City Police Department

Her body was eventually discovered in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming on Sept. 19, 2021. She had been strangled.

Laundrie was the only individual ever identified by law enforcement as a person of interest. After a nationwide search, he was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Florida on Oct. 20. The FBI said a notebook found in his possession contained an entry confessing that he’d killed his girlfriend.

Two months after the FBI’s investigation concluded, Petito’s parents filed a lawsuit against the Laundries, claiming that they knew about the murder and the location of her body.

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In his deposition for the Petitos’ emotional distress lawsuit, Christopher said he’d received a call from his son in late August 2021 in which Brian told him “Gabby’s gone.” Christopher claimed he did not know what Brian meant when he spoke about Gabby in the call.

The lawsuit also revealed a note written by Roberta to her son, which she labelled “burn after reading.”

FILE – Brian Laundrie (L) was the recipient of a letter from his mom, Roberta Laundrie, in which she promised to help him ‘dispose of a body’ if needed. Gabby Petito / YouTube/ Attorney Patrick Reilly

“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,” Laundrie’s mother wrote. “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 Laundrie parents were not charged with any crimes in connection to Gabby’s death, and the couples reached a settlement in the suit earlier this year, before it went to trial.

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Schmidt, reports People, ended her CrimeCon speech with a tribute to her daughter, calling her “a bright light in this world, full of love, compassion and boundless potential.”

FILE – Gabby Petito, 22, is shown in this image taken in Zion National Park, Utah, on July 16, 2021. Gabby Petito/Instagram

“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. “May Gabby’s legacy serve as a beacon of hope in the world desperately in need of light, hope for a future where such senseless violence and injustice are eradicated from our society.

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

With files from Global News’ Sarah Do Couto

If you or someone you know has been a victim of intimate partner violence or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for help. They are also reachable toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.

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