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Unsolved city murder still troubles many

New Hampshire Union Leader

September 30. 2012 1:14AM
Lynne Melk Brennan is shown in a family photo. (COURTESY)

MANCHESTER - As the two-year anniversary of her murder approaches, friends and family of Manchester resident Lynne Melk Brennan are still struggling to come to terms with her loss, and investigators continue to pursue all leads in the hunt for her killer.

Friends and family plan to be in Manchester today, hanging posters and gathering outside the apartment where she was killed on River Road.

'It's hard knowing that Lynne is gone and her killer is still out there,' said Moira McGarvey Black, of Wilton, Conn., Brennan's friend for 50 years. 'We've all missed Lynne so much since she was taken from us. Her killer gets to go free and living his life this whole time.'

Brennan, 53, was found dead on Oct. 11, 2010, in her apartment at 267 River Road by police after they were called by a friend who was concerned that she had not heard from her.

Investigators say they continue to look for her killer.

'This has not been assigned as one of the state's cold cases, but we continue to look into every lead and tip we receive,' said Senior Assistant Attorney General Benjamin J. Agati, who has worked on the case for two years.

'Every case is different. Some cases, you get information from people and evidence that leads you to an arrest very quickly. Then there are cases like this one, where you work all leads until you have enough to move forward. We have interviewed many individuals and brought some of them back in for second and third interviews,' he said.

Agati and other investigators have yet to release information derived from an autopsy performed on Brennan, including the exact date of her death. To this point, they have stated publicly only that she did not die on the day they found her. Agati said the information is being withheld to help weed out illegitimate tips, because certain facts about the case would be known only to law enforcement and her killer.

Brennan filed for divorce in November 2008 from her husband, John Brennan, after 27 years of marriage, citing 'extreme cruelty' as the reason behind the breakdown of the marriage. She alleged in court documents that her husband was guilty of treatment that injured her health, though no specific examples were given. Court records show that John Brennan denied the allegations.

Brennan was the mother of three grown sons - Jason, 28, Drew, 25, and Clay, 23 - and had been a stay-at-home mom in Hudson.

She was living alone and receiving $3,000 a month in temporary alimony at the time of her death, while the divorce was pending.

Black said she and Brennan's family members have stayed in touch with Manchester police and investigators in the Attorney General's office. They plan to put up posters around the city later today, asking anyone with information on the case to call authorities.

'We will be putting up posters on River Road and at shopping areas that she frequented, asking for help from people who may have seen or heard something,' said Brennan, who first met Brennan - then Lynne Melk - at the age of three in their hometown of Queens, N.Y. 'We want to make sure people remember her, what happened and, hopefully, someone might come forward who knows something. All it takes is one person, someone who saw or knows something, and we could have some closure.'

'After time has passed, like it has in this case, sometimes the relationships between people who may know something change,' said Agati.

'Someone may be more willing to talk about what they know. We are always ready to hear new tips or information, as we are in any case we are working to solve.'

Agati said anyone with information regarding the case should call the Manchester Crimeline at 624-4040 or go to to submit tips anonymously.

Friends and family members of Lynne Melk Brennan are expected to gather outside the site of her death, 267 River Road, today at 1:30 p.m. They are then expected to gather at her gravesite in Calvary Cemetery in Portsmouth.

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