25th anniversary appeal over Linda Bryant murder generates new inquiries

Ms Bryant, 40, known as Lyn, was stabbed in her back, neck and chest as she walked her dog near Truro in Cornwall in October 1998

Rod Minchin
Tuesday 28 November 2023 13:24 GMT
Linda Bryant’s body was discovered lying in the gateway to a field near her home in Cornwall in October 1998 (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA)
Linda Bryant’s body was discovered lying in the gateway to a field near her home in Cornwall in October 1998 (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA)

Detectives investigating the unsolved murder of a mother-of-two said they have 40 new lines of inquiry following a 25th anniversary appeal.

Linda 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.

The attack is believed to have been sexually motivated because Mrs Bryant’s clothing had been disturbed when her body was discovered in the entrance to a field.

A reward of £20,000 has been offered by Crimestoppers for information which leads to an arrest and conviction.

Advances in DNA have enabled police to produce a partial DNA profile which is believed to be that of the killer.

Since 2016, officers have been retaking DNA samples from people across the UK to check them against the partial profile.

An anniversary appeal generated 40 new lines of inquiry after making another public appeal for information.

Devon and Cornwall Police said 57 calls and messages were received following the appeal, providing 40 new actions and inquiries which are now being progressed.

This will include further comparisons being made against the partial DNA profile.

Detective Inspector Rob Smith, who is leading the inquiry, said: “I would like to thank everyone who came forward with information as part of this latest appeal. It is touching to see the level of public support for this case despite the passing of time.

“We would, however, still encourage anyone else to contact us if they are wrestling with their conscience or harbouring suspicions about someone.

“Just one piece of information, however small, could be crucial in helping to identify and apprehend Lyn’s killer.

“We know that 25 years is a long time but we remain convinced that someone knows what happened to Lyn that day.

“For the sake of her family, please do the right thing and get in touch – now is the time.”

Mrs Bryant, who was also a grandmother, was local to the remote part of Cornwall where she lived with her husband Peter, who she had been married to for about 19 years.

They had 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 returned home and then took the family’s lurcher dog, Jay, for a walk.

A holidaymaker discovered Mrs Bryant’s body, lying in the gateway to a field near the chapel, at about 2.30pm.

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

In 1998 police pieced together her final movements, including critical witness reports of three unknown men seen in the area at the time.

The men remain unidentified and the sightings are still a key part of the investigation.

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

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