Eight years after she went missing in Hallandale Beach, police and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed Thursday that they have found the remains of Lynda Meier, and that an investigation into her presumed killing will now begin in earnest.
The announcement came one week after investigators found skeletal remains in a tree preserve in Miami Gardens right at the border between Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
A confidential source tipped off the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that Meier’s body had been dumped in the large wooded area in the 3900 block of Northwest 215th Street.
Meier, 40, vanished after leaving her Hallandale Beach apartment at 5 a.m. on June 4, 2010, police said.
“Despite the many challenges we faced, investigators and law enforcement personnel pressed onward and never gave up,” said Hallandale Beach Police Chief Sonia Quinones during a press conference Thursday morning. “The community of Hallandale Beach and of South Florida didn’t give up either. They continued calling in tips, providing investigators with numerous tips to follow.”
Meier, a pharmacy school graduate from Nova Southeastern University, was supposed to pick up her mother in Aventura to take her to a doctor’s appointment. But Meier never showed up.
Her mother, Phyllis Meier, and brothers Eric and Bradley joined police Thursday and offered their gratitude for bringing Lynda Meier home.
“I know she’s not lost out there. She’s found,” Phyllis Meier said. “She’s not out there alone. She has a family to take care of her.”
Investigators immediately focused in on two ex-convicts, Antwan Kennedy and Dallas King, one of whom she met as a volunteer working with youth. The men told police that they had contact with her and tried to use her credit cards and debit cards.
But while the men remained suspects — and without a body — authorities were never able to gather enough evidence to charge them with the killing.
Over the years, King wound up going to prison for life for an armed robbery, while detectives and agents conducted several unsuccessful searches of vacant land in North Miami-Dade.
FDLE Miami Special Agent in Charge Troy Walker said Meier’s identification brings law enforcement a step closer to solving the case and holding those responsible to account.
“I can tell you that the discovery of her body has provided investigators with additional clues and evidence, and we are currently following up on those leads,” he said.
With the discovery come new questions, Walker said, concerning how Meier was murdered and if police have any new suspects.
“For right now I can’t answer those questions. I know you’ve waited for years to learn what happened, but as I said earlier, we have an active homicide investigation,” he said. “I can tell you that our investigation is moving forward. I can also tell you that we will not stop until we know exactly what happened to Lynda and those responsible for her death are brought to justice.”
Walker encouraged anyone with information about Lynda Meier and the weeks leading up to her death to contact FDLE Miami at 800-226-3023.