Bob Wykel Murder: Where is Myron C. Wynn Now?

In February 1996, Robert James Wykel of Washington was in high spirits as he was about to own a vintage first-generation Ford Thunderbird he had always wanted to add to his collection. The former sheet metal worker was very passionate about restoring and selling classic automobiles and thus shared his excitement with his friends. The 65-year-old was really looking forward to closing the deal when he suddenly vanished, never to be seen alive by anyone again.

The incident ticked off a complex investigation that saw multiple twists and turns until the perpetrator was finally brought to justice. Investigation Discovery’s ‘Disappeared: A Diamond Is Forever’ offers an in-depth look into Wykel’s case via interviews, statements and scrutiny of documents that shed light on the events surrounding his disappearance, the ensuing investigation, subsequent trial and conviction of the perpetrator.

Bob Wykel Disappeared Right Before Closing on His Dream Car

Robert James Wykel came into the world on May 18, 1930, in Cook County, Illinois. Raised amid the love and care of his supportive parents, he grew up to be a free-spirited individual with a positive outlook toward life and the determination to fulfill his dreams. Lovingly referred to as Bob by his loved ones, he was a people’s person and treated everyone with kindness and respect. An adventurous guy through and through, he loved climbing mountains and hunting large animals like mountain goats, bears, and musk oxs. He also embarked upon adventures across several parts of the world, ranging from North America and South America to Russia, and brought with him amazing stories to enchant his loved ones.

Image Credit: The Charley Project

Bob’s travels exhibited him to new ideas and he set up restaurants in New Mexico, Chicago, and Anchorage, Alaska. On the personal front, Bob was once married to Joan Tignino, and the two gave birth to a beautiful daughter, Rebecca. After some wonderful years of togetherness, their union was marred by trouble and they eventually got divorced. While his ex-wife and kid stayed back in Illinois, he moved to Burien, a suburban city south of Seattle in King County, Washington, in the 1990s. While there, Bob furthered his professional career by taking up the job of a sheet metal worker.

Following his retirement, he began working on his passion — restoring vintage cars and selling them in the market for a lucrative sum. He knew everything about cars and could go on for hours appreciating the beauty of a sweet classic. Bob had made a great life for himself professionally as well as personally. Despite their separation, Bob and Joan remained cordial and served as amazing co-parents. They shared mutual respect and Bob still wore the diamond ring that Joan had gifted him early on in their marriage. “He wore it sleeping, fishing, hunting, working on cars. You never saw it off him,” his daughter said.

In fact, Rebecca stated that things had begun to get better between the two and the former couple were seemingly considering a reconciliation. As 1996 rolled around, Bob was also quite excited about restoring a car with his grandson as well as attending his granddaughter’s wedding in the middle of the year. Unfortunately, he never got to actualize any of it as Bob disappeared without a trace in February 1996. On February 21, 1996, at a regular poker game at his friend John Ogdon’s place, Bob announced that he is ready to bring home his dream car — a late 50s Ford Thunderbird — the following morning. However, his friends and loved ones grew concerned when they didn’t hear from Bob for days.

When Ogdon couldn’t get hold of Bob for days, didn’t spot his car outside his residence, recognized his absence at their weekly poker night, he reached out to the authorities to file a missing person report. Regardless, Ogdon said the authorities didn’t see the need to do so until he returned a few days later, on March 13, with a mail that stated that Bob’s Mercedes Benz was impounded at a park-and-ride lot, just 4-5 blocks from their place. The authorities reached his residence only to find unwashed utensils still in the sink, food on the table, several unanswered voicemails from his friends, daughter, and other family members. For years, the authorities pulled out all the stops to find the 65-year-old but he was never found. Bob Wykel was legally declared dead in 2003 and his remains stay missing to this day.

A Diamond Ring Led the Police to Bob Wykel’s Killer

Following his disappearance, the authorities began to look for any possible lead that could direct them to Bob Wykel. The forensic team did a thorough scan of his car but it didn’t yield any fruitful results except for his wallet. His daughter, Rebecca Lee, came down from Chicago to be of assistance in the search of her father. While the police initially considered the possibility of him having left on a vacation per usual, the discovery of his passport at his residence stated the opposite. Moreover, Rebecca told the authorities that it wasn’t like her father to just disappear on them without any intimation.

The case took a turn when his neighbor and friend, John Ogdon, told the authorities that for weeks before he went missing, Bob had been talking to his friends about finally finding a link to a Ford Thunderbird seller — a model from the late 50s — that he always dreamed of owning. As per Ogdon, Bob had already paid $1,000 to the middleman named Michael or Mike, a guy who introduced himself to Bob one morning while he was having breakfast with his friends at a White Center McDonald’s. In the days ahead of his vanishing, Bob was sort of getting anxious due to the lack of progress in the deal and had also withdrawn a sum of $5,200, on February 12.

In his last conversation with his friends, Bob declared he was about to close the deal on February 22. From his friends at the breakfast club, Rebecca learned that the guy was far younger than the lot but had gotten Bob quite interested in the car deal he proposed as a third party. Mike’s last name was discovered from a goodbye card he signed on for the manager of the restaurant. The authorities focused all their attention towards Wynn. Their suspicions grew stronger when he reached out to Bob’s daughter and tried convincing her that her father informed him that he was headed to California to attend an automobile auction for work.

On being questioned by the police, he gave several conflicting statements. He initially denied the existence of the car deal between them but eventually changed his stance when they informed him that others at the breakfast club witnessed the two talk about the T-bird. When they traced Bob’s phone records, the police found out that out of the calls he made on February 20, one was to Mother Nature’s Acres in Thurston County. At the RV park, they spoke to Wynn’s sister who said she saw Wynn and a guy who matched Bob’s description in the latter’s car on February 23. Wynn initially cooperated with the authorities but began stalling them when the topic of taking a lie detector test popped up.

Ultimately, in April, following his arrest and subsequent release on a traffic violation charge, he departed from the state. On delving into his history in the subsequent years, the authorities learned that Wynn had several brushes with the law when he was slammed with allegations of “drug trafficking” and “committing violence towards women.” They also discovered that the guy went by Michael “Mike” Wynn or Myron Holdredge or Michael Holdredge. Taking the help of Wynn’s sister, they traced the pendant and found it in the possession of Wynn’s aunt, who asserted she purchased it from him during a family gathering in Texas.

Image Credit: Disappeared

After conversing with his ex-girlfriend, they found out that he was unemployed and pretended to work. Not just that, she divulged that Wynn had gifted her a European-cut diamond pendant in 1996, stating that he found it at a park-and-ride lot. After they broke up, she added, Wynn took it back. The authorities began to believe the stone they obtained from Wynn’s aunt was the same diamond Bob always wore on his ring finger, even while working on his automobiles. With the help of a gemologist and a jeweler, they confirmed the same.

The authorities traveled to Texas and interviewed Wynn multiple times. They sometimes even resorting to bluffing to check his facts, and with each inconsistency in his statements in relation to the diamond and Bob’s last location, their case against Wynn grew stronger. In 2009, Myron Clark Wynn was finally charged with first-degree murder regarding the disappearance of Bob Wykel.

Myron C. Wynn is Serving His Sentence in Jail Today

In 2009, Myron C. Wynn was extradited by the authorities from Texas to Washington, where his trial for the first degree murder of Bob Wykel was held. As per the authorities, Wynn faked the Thunderbird sale to get Bob to trust him. They stated that he then took him to an isolated spot where he proceeded to rob him off his belongings and ultimately murdered the 65-year-old. In December 2010, following the presentation of evidence by both parties, the trial witnessed a hung jury after three days of deliberation, eventually leading to the declaration of a mistrial by the judge.

Circumstantial evidence played a massive role in the second trial that was held in April 2011. Ultimately, after deliberating for just a day in the retrial, Wynn was convicted of the first-degree murder of Bob Wykel and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Despite the verdict, he maintained his innocence and stated: “I’m not going to sit here today and beg for forgiveness for something I didn’t do.” Although a post-trial hearing was proposed, the judge turned it down. Reacting on the same, Rebecca said, “To me, he’s a sociopath. He was found guilty, and he’s not going to do this to anyone else. In the end, he still has to meet his maker, and isn’t that the final judge?”

Wynn subsequently appealed to the Washington Court of Appeals, Division I in Seattle to negate the first-degree murder charge against him, along with pointing out multiple issues in procedure alleging juror misconduct and not being allowed to take the stand by his defense. However, in June 2013, his appeal was denied by a panel of judges who upheld the original verdict. As of writing, Myron C. Wynn is serving his sentence at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton, Washington. Meanwhile, Bob Wykel’s family members are trying to move on by keeping his memories alive.

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