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Police find woman's body in well; husband may be charged

Tonya Faye Lynn

Tonya Faye Lynn

WINDER -- Police believe the body of 38-year-old Tonya Faye Lynn was found in an Auburn well Friday afternoon, and the husband of the Winder mother of four will face murder charges if an examination confirms the identity.

Lynn was reported missing Wednesday after her niece received an early-morning text message in which Lynn reportedly asked her to "take care" of her children. Her vehicle was later located at a library near her home, police said.

At around 4 p.m. Friday, the investigation led Winder police to a well off Etheridge Road in Auburn, where a body believed to be Lynn's was located, spokesman Officer Chris Cooper said.

When asked what led police to the well, Cooper said only that "information was divulged in our investigation that led us to the well."

Husband Jim Morris Lynn Jr. was taken into custody early Friday morning on a charge of obstruction after "information he initially gave police was determined to be false," Cooper said. The charges are now likely to get more severe.

Tonya Lynn's believed body will be taken to the Georgia Crime Lab for identification and a possible autopsy, Cooper said. If it is positively identified as his wife, James Lynn will be charged with murder.

Playing into the pending charges and investigation may be the fact that James Lynn was arrested by Winder police in May, for "battery against Mrs. Lynn and obstruction of our officers," Cooper said.

According to officials, there was a temporary protective order between husband and wife as a condition of James Lynn's release following that incident. Tonya Lynn reportedly requested that order be dropped after his release.

"I'm not sure if the judge granted her request on that," Cooper said Friday.

As far as the text message that was sent from Tonya Lynn's phone to her niece prior to her disappearance, Cooper said investigators are now "unsure" if it might have been a ploy by an alleged killer to lead police in the direction of ruling her death a suicide.

"We are still trying to obtain any phone records that might be able to give us further details on that," he said.

Tonya Lynn, employed by Athens Regional Medical Center, failed to report to work Wednesday, and had last been seen by a neighbor at her residence about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Her four children range in age between 7 and 14, Cooper said. Details about their custody were unclear Friday evening.

"This has been a long couple of days for our department," Winder Police Chief Dennis Dorsey said. "We had a tremendous amount of help from the GBI and the Barrow County Sheriff's Office. I am very proud of how the agencies worked together as a team to resolve this matter quickly."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Lynn's family."