The family of a Winder woman who went missing Wednesday confirmed Saturday that the body police found in an Auburn well belonged to Tonya Faye Lynn.
An autopsy was performed at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Lab, but Winder police were not ready to release the cause of death late Saturday afternoon.
Her husband, 42-year-old James Morris Lynn Jr., is charged with her murder, according to Winder police spokesman Chris Cooper.
Although police did not recover her body until late Friday and relatives only could confirm her identity until the following morning, a Facebook page soliciting prayers for Tonya Lynn and her children already had attracted more than 125 followers late Saturday afternoon.
A fund was established to help her four children — who are ages 7-14, according to police. Contributions can be made at any Community and Southern Bank to the “Tonya Royster Lynn Children’s Fund.”
Friends and family first became alarmed when the mother of four did not show up for work at Athens Regional Medical Center on Wednesday. A niece received a cryptic text message from Lynn’s phone Thursday asking her to take care of the children, but when the niece called back, the phone was turned off. She found Lynn’s Chevrolet Tahoe abandoned at a nearby library a few hours later.
Police interviewed James Lynn, who seemed cooperative at first, but arrested him on an obstruction charge when he gave false information, according to Cooper. Detectives gleaned enough information from him in subsequent interviews to lead them to a well just off Etheridge Road in Western Barrow County. A woman’s body was 20 to 30 feet down the well, and authorities worked into the night Friday to extract the body to send to the GBI Crime Lab.
Cooper would not say whether James Lynn confessed, only that investigators learned about the well through interviews with the suspect.
The couple had a turbulent relationship, police said, and James Lynn was charged with family violence battery in May.
“They didn’t have a solid marriage. Both of them had been seeing other people; they had separated before,” Cooper said.
Tonya Lynn worked at ARMC as a cardiovascular-pulmonary technician, according to police.