SOUTH FLORIDA

Police call off search for missing Hallandale Beach woman

 

cteproff@MiamiHerald.com

After two days of looking for any clue that might lead them to the remains of a missing Hallandale Beach woman, police called off the search Tuesday.

With no sign of Lynda Meier’s body or any of her belongings, police said they were leaving the Opa-locka site several sources had said was the woman’s burial place.

“It is not disappointing,” said Hallandale Beach Police Chief Dwayne Flournoy. “Actually, it’s encouraging that we keep putting in the effort.”

Meier, 40, was last seen by a surveillance camera around 5 a.m. June 4, 2010. She was leaving her Hallandale Beach condo, on her way to pick up her mother for a doctor’s appointment. She never it made it to her mother’s Aventura home.

Her maroon Cadillac Escalade was found two days later abandoned in a parking lot near The Gardens apartments in the 13400 block of Northwest 30th Avenue in Miami-Dade. Police at the time said it looked like there had been an effort to remove evidence from the car.

Two women were seen using her credit card at a Wal-Mart Supercenter at 5851 NW 177th St. the next day.

Police began questioning two ex-convicts, one of whom Meier had contact with just days before her disappearance.

At the time, both Antwan Kennedy and Dallas King were named persons of interest. Flournoy said Tuesday that has not changed.

“There is still some sort of connection,” he said.

Meier had met Kennedy while she was volunteering to work with disadvantaged youth, police had said at the time. Phone records showed that Kennedy may have been the last person Meier spoke to.

Kennedy was good friends with King, and both men at the time admitted to having contact with Meier and attempting to use her credit and debit cards.

But police, who suspected foul play, were never able to connect the men to her disappearance or find her body.

Police began searching the Opa-locka area after three independent sources identified it as a place where King would have probably disposed of Meier. With King serving two life sentences for robbery, the sources felt safe to come forward and help shed some light on a case that has eluded police for three years.

With machetes in hand and cadaver dogs by their side, dozens of police officers from agencies across South Florida spent two days hiking through more than seven acres of thick brush filled with discarded tires, carpets, shingles, recycled materials and even some overturned boats.

With neon orange spray paint, they marked with X’s the places that had been searched, one by one diminishing the possibilities of finding Meier.

Alleys were cut into the peninsula-shaped area allowing cadaver dogs to sniff in the most difficult areas at the back, where the land became wider and more dense in shrubbery and grasses.

“We didn’t know it was going to be this difficult, but it is what it is,” said Maj. Thomas Honan, a Hallandale Beach Police spokesman.

Among the finds: 20 credit cards, 10 drivers licenses, seven purses and a handful of social security cards.

The treasure trove of goods may help police solve other cases.

Two officers left the area with four paper bags in hand containing evidence, although it is still unclear whether that evidence is connected to Meier.

“They are definitely items that we are going to take an opportunity to look at further,” said Flournoy.

And while the two-day effort may not have yielded the results they were hoping for, Flournoy said getting Meier’s name and picture out there may bring someone forward with more information about the case.

“Just because we didn’t find what we were looking for today doesn’t mean that we are going to stop,” Flournoy said.

For Meier’s longtime friend Sharon Solano, news of the search was “tough.”

“Three years is way too long,” said Solano, who owns a salon in Hallandale Beach and saw Meier the day before she disappeared. “We need closure. I will never give up on her.”

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