'Now is the time': Detectives launch fresh appeal on the 25th anniversary of unsolved murder of mum Linda ‘Lyn’ Bryant

19 October 2023, 15:01

The 40-year-old was killed as she walked the family dog in quiet rural lanes near her home
The 40-year-old was killed as she walked the family dog in quiet rural lanes near her home. Picture: Devon & Cornwall Police/Handout
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Detectives have launched a fresh appeal for information on the 25th anniversary of the unsolved murder of mum-of-two Linda Bryant.

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Mrs Bryant, 40, known as Lyn, was stabbed in her back, neck and chest as she walked her dog in her home village of Ruan High Lanes, near Truro in Cornwall on October 20 1998.

Police believe there was a sexual motivation behind the attack as Mrs Bryant's clothing had been disturbed when she was found dead in the entrance to a field.

A quarter of a century after her death, police still believe someone knows what happened to Mrs Bryant, which could lead to them finding her killer.

Mystery still surrounds Mrs Bryant's glasses which cryptically reappeared at the crime scene four months after she died.

Detective Inspector Rob Smith, who is leading the investigation, said: "The reappearance of Lyn's glasses remains a real mystery in this case," added Det Insp Smith.

"Why were they put back there? Were they found by somebody and returned to the scene or were they put there by the murderer?"

Linda Bryant, 40, known as Lyn, was stabbed in her back, neck and chest near her home
Linda Bryant, 40, known as Lyn, was stabbed in her back, neck and chest near her home. Picture: Handout

"For 25 years the family of Lyn Bryant have lived with this terrible loss and uncertainty," Dept Smith said as Devon and Cornwall Police launched an appeal for fresh information.

"Her family have never found peace knowing that the offender remains free - 25 years have gone by but this has not lessened the pain of what happened to her that awful day.

"We maintain the view that the public holds the key to this investigation. I would urge anyone who had suspicions about any relative, friend or colleague who was acting suspiciously around the time of the murder to please come forward and help us bring some peace to Lyn's family. Now is the time."

The gateway where Lyn was found years later in 2018
The gateway where Lyn was found years later in 2018. Picture: Handout

Dept Smith went on: "We know that 25 years is a long time but we remain convinced that someone knows what happened to Lyn and for some reason they have never come forward.

"Allegiances may have changed with the passage of time and those who found it difficult to talk to police may now feel able. Now is the time to contact us."

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Advancements in DNA technology have allowed the police to produce a partial DNA profile, which is believed to be of Lyn's killer.

Samples have been taken from people across the country to check them against the partial profile.

At the time of her killing, Lyn was living with her husband Peter, with the couple married for 19 years.

The pair ha two children, Lee, then aged 21, and Erin, then aged 19. Lee's son Keelan was 10 months old at the time.

On the day of the murder Mrs Bryant cleaned a local house, went to see her parents and then bought groceries from a garage. She then returned home and then took the family's lurcher dog, Jay, for a walk.

Lyn's body was found in the entrance to a field near her home
Lyn's body was found in the entrance to a field near her home. Picture: Handout

It was a holidaymaker that discovered Mrs Bryant's body lying in the entrance to a field at around 2pm, not far from her home.

Her death remains one of the largest and longest running unsolved murder inquiries carried out by Devon and Cornwall Police.

Her final movements have been tracked by police, helped by witness statements of three unknown men in the area around the time she died. They remain unidentified.

"We know that she must have fought against her attacker. Her clothing had been disturbed which leads us to conclude that this was a sexually motivated murder," said Det Insp Smith.

"The weapon, believed to be a single-edged blade such as a penknife or a small kitchen knife, has never been found."

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