Brianna Denison Found

I finally arrived home around ten last night, five hours late, but more on that later. Because of the storms that passed through Georgia my cable TV and Internet was out for about fourteen hours which meant I couldn’t post at all. That was probably a blessing in disguise because knowing me I would have been up until three a.m. making up for lost time…
Early Friday afternoon I received a link to this AP video that reported Briana Denison’s mother and uncle believed that the missing college student was still alive. At that point in time they had plans to process a backlog of 3,000 DNA samples in their search for her. It’s weird that this video was released at 4:13 p.m. which was about four hours AFTER the body was found. Of course at that time she may not have been identified but I find it hard to believe that her family had not been informed.

I was browsing some headlines and came across this entry over at the Crime Scene Blog where they are reporting that Briana Denison has been found. Actually they found her body on Friday while I was in the Bahamas and out of the news loop, which is why I haven’t written anything about it over the weekend. Stephen McCaskill has this to say about it:

On Friday the body of a young woman was found in a brush covered field near a business park in Reno, NV. Today an autopsy identified the body as that of 19-year-old Brianna Denison, who has been missing since January 19th, 2008. She had spent the night at a friend’s house and was discovered missing the morning of the 20th.
The autopsy also reported the cause of death as strangulation. Her body had been in the field, which was just 8 miles from the home where she was kidnapped, for more than a week.

Someone who works in the nearby busy industrial center noticed a body lying in the field on Friday and called the police to report it at 12:13 p.m. Reno police found the site six minutes later and cordoned off the area around the site, which is 2-3 acres.
The story is of course also being reported on KVTN Reno/Tahoe news and there are several videos over there. Mainly press conferences and a couple of interviews as well.
The Reno police are assuming that they are dealing with a serial rapist and have at least two cases, possibly three, that are linked with DNA. How weird. Not really weird, just that I finished reading Cross byt James Patterson, dealing with a serial rapist/murderer on the flight home last night. I have never read any of the Alex Cross books and it started out somewhat dry but I enjoyed it and now have a series to start reading (when I get the free time). I digress, back to the subject at hand…
There really isn’t anything other than a recap of the story at any of the news sites and I will pretty much repeat that here.
Briana was a student at Santa Barbara City College in California but was visiting Reno, where she is from, over winter break. She was last seen sleeping on a couch at a friend’s house just off the University of Nevada Reno campus on January 20th. From CNNs report on her body being found there is a partial description of the abductor based on descriptions from previous victims:

…police have described the suspect as a white male between ages 28 and 40 and at least 5 feet 6, with a long face and brown hair. He was believed to have no accent or regional dialect.
The killer’s familiarity with the city suggests he likely lives in Reno, Johns said, adding that he believes the “chances are very good” they will catch him.
“It could be tomorrow, next month, next year. We are going to find this suspect,” he told reporters.
The killer probably lives near the campus just north of the downtown casino district or on the city’s nearby northwest side, Johns said, and he may work closer to the city’s southeast side, where the body was found.
“Somewhere in our community there is a wife, a mom, a girlfriend, a sister who recognizes this suspect. Likely he looks like somebody you would least suspect, but that is the person who is responsible for this crime,” he said.
Publicity of the manhunt may cause the rapist to stop attacking, but “our absolute fear is he may re-offend,” Johns said.

Briana Denison’s mother issued a statement on Saturday thanking police and the community for their help in searching for her daughter. “On March 29, 1988, Bridgette and Jeffrey Denison were given the incredible gift of their daughter Brianna. On January 20, 2008, she became the daughter of our entire community,” Bridgette Denison also asked that every woman in the community “be diligent about their own safety”.

The Washoe County Coroner’s Office did an autopsy on Saturday, which is when they officially identified Briana, and they announced it at a news conference. According to Police she had been strangled. Her body had been in the field for at least a week and was concealed there by heavy snow. The full autopsy report won’t be available for a few weeks because they still have pending toxicology reports as well as other stuff. All of that crap you see on CSI and other shows are pretty much a lie as to how quickly this stuff gets done, including the fact that the CSI guys are the ones out there solving the crimes.
While the manhunt for the serial rapist continues, the community is mourning the loss of a young woman that some say was like family.

I haven’t been able to find any confirmation for it (yet) but one of the commenters over at Websleuths stated that during the press conference one of the reporters asked about cameras on surrounding buildings and it was stated that local businesses are volunteering their video that may help in the case. That pretty much sounds like standard operating procedure to me and not something that would generally be reported unless something was seen, which is why I don’t have a link for it.
Brianna’s body was found in South Reno at the intersection of Double R Boulevard and Sandhill Road and since Friday hundreds of people who have never met Brianna Denison have driven there to pay their respects and mourn the loss. The are is no surrounded with blue balloons, flowers, notes, candles and stuffed animals. Blue was apparently Brianna’s favorite color.
America’s Most Wanted also had an update on the case (same info as above) and apparently the crew is currently in Reno as well.
There is also a timeline (with no links) of key events in the Brianna Denison case over at Nevada Appeal.
CBS News has this video out this morning which discusses the fear that Reno residents are facing as a result of the serial rapist turned murderer.

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