Another detective refutes Linnea Hayda’s claims on the witness stand in Vail trial |

Another detective refutes Linnea Hayda’s claims on the witness stand in Vail trial

Hayda, in an interview with Vail police after being found in a dumpster, said she sometimes has gaps in her memory

Assistant District Attorney Heidi McCollum and Deputy District Attorney Johnny Lombardi are prosecuting the case against Linnea Hayda.
Randy Wyrick |

EAGLE — Detective Craig Westering took the stand Tuesday morning on the fifth day of Linnea Hayda’s felony trial. He examined the scene for Vail police and was one of the officers who interviewed Hayda on March 27, 2018, after she was found in a Vail dumpster that morning.

Hayda insisted in taped police interviews that her ex-husband put a plastic garbage bag over her head, bound her with zip ties and threw her in the trash.

Not possible, say Vail police and prosecutors. Hayda’s ex-husband was nowhere around her the night she claims she was abducted and dropped in a dumpster. Prosecutors say Hayda threw herself in the dumpster, and then concocted accusations toward her ex-husband.

Hayda is charged with false reporting, tampering with evidence and trying to influence a public official.

“Is there anyone else who could have done this?” Westering asked Hayda in the video.

“He told me he has never wants me to see the kids again,” Hayda responded.

Memory gaps

In that interview, Hayda said she sometimes has gaps in her memory, as she claimed she did during the dumpster incident.

“In psychological terms, it’s called disassociation,” Hayda told Westering in the video.

Moments later in the video, Hayda began crying and sobbing, “(He) put a bag over my head. I remember he put a bag over my head. Oh my god! Oh my god! I remember the look in his eyes! It was like it was dead! Like it was a shark! A prehistoric animal. He didn’t care. He looked me in the eyes. He was wearing a chef coat. He had seafoam green gloves. Light seafoam green. I remember him looking at me. It was like a monster.”

During the video interview, Hayda claimed she was hit on her cheek.

“I got hit, and then I had the bag over my head. I saw him, and he hit me and put the bag over my head. I looked him in the eyes,” she said in the video interview.

“How did he hit you?” Westering asked.

“With his fist,” Hayda answered softly.

No such evidence, police say

Westering testified Tuesday that police found no evidence that Hayda’s ex-husband was in the area of the parking lot of Axis Sports Medicine in Avon, where Hayda worked and where she said she was abducted on the afternoon of March 26, 2018.

During their investigation Vail police took photos of Hayda’s ex-husband’s upper torso and hands, looking for injuries he could have suffered during the alleged abduction, Westering testified. They found no scratches, redness or bruising on his body, hands or arms indicative of defensive wounds that he might have received during a struggle.

District Court Judge Paul Dunkelman said he expected to give the case to the jury Thursday afternoon.

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