The Murder of Mary Lynn Breeden
Just after sunrise in Vancouver British Columbia on July 6th 1991
Janitor Milton Diaz discovered a burning dumpster with human remains clearly visible inside and called 911. Authorities and the coroner arrived to the scene to retrieve the body and assess the crime scene. Unfortunately the body was so badly charred that almost every source of identification was destroyed. At the time the only thing a forensic lab had was dental records and the information suggesting the body was a female between 24- 30 years of age. They did however determine that the vitcims cause of death was multiple gun shot wounds to the head. After pouring through missing persons reports investigators learned that a 30 year old woman named Mary Lynn Breeden had been reported missing just one day before the burning remains were found in the dumpster. Mary was a part time model who worked as cocktail waitress at a gentleman's club at the time she disappeared. Not suprisingly the dental records were a match. Now investigators began interviewing friends and family in an attempt to identify a suspect. Upon interviewing co workers investigators learned that* Lynn was involved in cocaine use and recently dated, but separated from, a local drug trafficker named Chris Paycook. Coincidentally Lynn was last seen walking down the street in which Chris rented an apartment on. Paycook readily admitted to police that he had spent most of the evening and night with Lynn on the night she disappeared. He said she stopped by his apartment for drinks and the pair had consensual sex before heading out to several night clubs. Once at the second club Chris said Lynn started flirting with other men and when he became angry and insisted they leave Lynn refused so he left without her. This is the last time Chris claims to have seen Lynn. It looked as if the case might be at a standstill until authorities recieved a phone call from Lynn's Bank saying a woman claiming to be Lynn arrived to withdraw $4,000 from Lynn's checking account. The woman acted strangely and could be seen on CCTV looking outside as if someone was waiting on her. The woman left abruptly when the teller asked for identification. Her photo was published in the local papers asking for help identifying the woman and within hours authorities recieved an anonymous tip that identified the woman as Tanya Forrester. Police immediately set out to question Tanya who readily admitted that a man named Chris Cruz gave her Lynn's wallet and told her it was stolen. Togather the pair hatched a plan to clean out the victims bank account. She says she was unaware the wallet belonged to a homicide victim. Chris Cruz aka Tony Devins was a exotic dancer and heavy cocoine user who admitted to being at the same club as Lynn on the night she was killed but says he didn't have anything to do with Lynn's murder. He claimed the following day a friend gave him Lynn's wallett after mentioning it had been stolen. Investigators then asked to search Cruz's car but were told he hadn't driven it because it wasnt running well. Oddly enough it was discovered that he was lying and that his vehicle was parked just down the street from police headquarters. CCTV footage clearly revealed that Cruz was present with his vehicle when Tanya attempted to withdraw Lynn's money at the bank. Forensic analysts also located Lynne's blood on the outside and inside of Cruz's car, gasoline, a rifle, and one of Lynn's play boy bunny pendants all covered in Lynn's blood. It was matched using tooth pulp DNA from Lynn's charred skull.
Based on the evidence Chris Cruz was charged with Lynn's murder.
It was revealed that after Lynn's former boyfriend Paycook left the club Lynn looked to Cruz to score more cocaine since the two were already somewhat acquainted. Shortly after daybreak the pair left the club togather and for unknown reasons the pair argued and Chris stopped the car, grabbed a tire iron and beat Lynn with it before shooting her in the head three times. He then took Lynn to the dumpster where he poured a gallon of gas over he lifeless body and set it on fire. Authorities say the fire burned for several hours before the Janitor noticed and called 911.
Eventually Chris was found guilty of second degree murder and given a life sentence.
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