UK

Timeline: 25 years since murder of Linda Bryant in Cornish field

An aerial view of the murder scene in 1998 (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA)
An aerial view of the murder scene in 1998 (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA) An aerial view of the murder scene in 1998 (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA)

Devon and Cornwall Police have launched a fresh appeal to mark the 25th anniversary of the murder of Cornish woman Linda Bryant, known as Lyn.

Here is a timeline of the case:

– October 20, 1998

Morning – Lyn Bryant cleans a local house in Ruan High Lanes, visits her parents and returns home.

12.45pm – Mrs Bryant drives her grey Ford Sierra to Harris Garage in Tregony but there is no fuel there.

1.05pm – Mrs Bryant drives on to Chenoweth’s garage at Ruan High Lanes, buying fuel, milk and groceries.

Linda Bryant was walking her dog when she was killed (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA)
Linda Bryant was walking her dog when she was killed (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA) Linda Bryant was walking her dog when she was killed (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA)

– A white van driven by an unknown bearded man enters the forecourt at the same time.

– Mrs Bryant returns home and sees daughter Erin, 19. They have lunch and watch Emmerdale.

1.30pm – Mrs Bryant sets out on her regular walk with Jay, the family’s lurcher dog.

– Witnesses see Mrs Bryant walking along the main lane towards Ruan High Lanes Methodist Church.

1.45-2pm – A motorist sees Mrs Bryant talking to a clean-shaven man at the junction by the chapel.

2.30pm – Mrs Bryant’s body is found lying in the gateway to a field on a road between the chapel and Treviles Manor.

Linda Bryant's body was found in a muddy entrance to a field having been stabbed (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA)
Linda Bryant's body was found in a muddy entrance to a field having been stabbed (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA) Linda Bryant’s body was found in a muddy entrance to a field having been stabbed (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA)

2.34pm – A 999 call is made and emergency services are sent to the scene.

2.50pm – The air ambulance arrives and Mrs Bryant is pronounced dead at the scene.

2.45-3pm – A farmer sees an unknown man walking in a nearby field, away from the murder scene.

– November 4, 1998 – Mrs Bryant’s last movements are re-enacted for BBC Crimewatch.

– February 2, 1999 – Mrs Bryant’s tortoiseshell glasses are discovered on top of mud where her body was found four months before.

– April 1999 – Police conduct the first investigative review into the case, named Operation Hermitic.

– December 14, 1999 – A coroner in Truro rules that Mrs Bryant was unlawfully killed.

– March 2002 – The second investigative review, named Operation Hermitic II, takes place.

– 2007 – A full forensic review is undertaken.

– October 13, 2008 – Devon and Cornwall Police launch a 10-year anniversary appeal for Mrs Bryant’s murder.

– May 2016 – A partial DNA profile is developed from a number of samples taken from the scene at the time of Mrs Bryant’s death.

– October 2016 – Officers begin re-taking DNA samples from across the UK.

– October 15, 2018 – Devon and Cornwall Police launch a 20-year anniversary appeal, which generated more than 200 messages from the public, providing 60 new actions or inquiries.

In the last five years detectives have completed 450 inquiries and actions. Of those, 112 were DNA samples taken for comparison.

– October 19, 2023 – Detectives mark the 25th anniversary of Mrs Bryant’s murder with a fresh public appeal.