When Linda Damm seemingly vanished from the sight of her neighbors and friends, the community grew suspicious. An anonymous tip led investigators to the discovery of Linda’s lifeless body, and very soon, Linda’s daughter, Tess Damm, and her boyfriend, Bryan Grove, were arrested in connection to the heinous crime. The case of Linda Damm’s murder was subsequently featured on ‘Seduced To Slay: Star-Crossed Killers,’ shedding light on the harrowing details of the investigation. Let’s try and understand what happened and where the killers are currently.
Who are Tess Damm and Bryan Grove?
Adopted from India during his early years, Bryan Grove became a part of a Colorado family. However, his adolescence was marked by experiences of bullying and social isolation in high school, leading to erratic behavior. Strained relationships unfolded within his adoptive family, as he frequently engaged in disputes with his parents, escalating to the point where law enforcement had to intervene following an argument with his mother. Coincidentally, Tess, living with her mother Linda in Lafayette, Colorado, shared the same high school with Bryan. Tess and Linda’s relationship was similarly fraught with difficulties, with Tess asserting that her mother struggled with alcohol-related issues.
Tess and Bryan had started dating each other after meeting at a party in 2006 but Linda was not very fond of the relationship. By 2007, Bryan, 17, had relocated from his parents’ residence and established a living arrangement in a condominium shared with friends. Linda discovered that Tess, who was 15 and still in high school, was skipping it to be with Bryan. Seeking to exert influence over the relationship and her daughter, Linda permitted Bryan to reside with them. However, both Bryan and Tess were displeased by Linda’s involvement, perceiving it as interference. They concluded that the most effective way to eliminate the perceived problem was to murder Linda.
The precise date of this occurrence remains uncertain, but in February 2007, Tess and Bryan were dining out when Linda persistently called Tess. Growing irritated, Tess informed Bryan that it was the opportune moment to put their plan into action. Subsequently, Tess, Bryan, and their acquaintance Jared Guy traveled to Linda’s residence. While Tess and Jared circled the area in a vehicle, Bryan entered Linda’s house. Bryan grabbed 52-year-old Linda by the neck, pushed her against the wall, and stabbed her in the neck with a switchblade. When he was not able to retrieve it, he went downstairs, got hold of a kitchen knife, and stabbed Linda with it 18 times, and she died on the spot.
Upon returning, Tess and Jared placed Linda’s lifeless body in the trunk of their car. Uncertain about what course of action to take, they grappled with indecision for the ensuing days. Bryan, along with another friend named Jared Smith, attempted to dispose of the body in a landfill, but their efforts proved unsuccessful. A subsequent attempt to bury Linda in a local cemetery was thwarted by the frozen ground. Despite managing to dig a shallow grave, they were compelled to retrieve Linda’s body. Ultimately, they left the body in the car trunk, opting to continue their spree of spending Linda’s money and relishing the freedom they perceived.
As days passed without any sightings of Linda in her community, whispers began to circulate. Tess and Bryan, grappling with growing guilt and engaging in conflicts, confided in some of their friends about their troubling situation. One of these friends, troubled by the gravity of the revelation, anonymously tipped off the police. Subsequently, both Tess and Bryan, along with Jared Smith, were apprehended by law enforcement. Initially, Tess refrained from confessing, merely stating that she hadn’t seen Linda for the past couple of weeks. In contrast, Bryan, insistent on speaking with Tess first, eventually confessed to the police, providing details about the murder. Armed with a search warrant, the police uncovered Linda’s severely decomposed body on February 28, 2007.
Where are Tess Damm and Bryan Grove Now?
The police had concluded that Tess had crafted the plan to kill her mother because of the “abuse and neglect” she allegedly faced. Bryan Grove faced charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy. Ultimately, he opted to plead guilty to second-degree murder and received a 40-year prison sentence. Currently, Bryan is serving his term at the Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility, and at the age of 34, he remains incarcerated. He will be eligible for parole in 2033. A crucial piece of evidence against him was provided by his friend Jared Guy, who testified that he had assisted Bryan under the impression that Linda’s killing was an act of self-defense.
Jared Smith, who had aided Bryan in placing the body in the trunk, received a two-year sentence in juvenile detention. Entering into a plea deal, Tess Damm, who was 15-years-old at the time of the murder, admitted guilt as a juvenile for second-degree murder and as an adult for solicitation to commit second-degree murder. The sentencing entailed five years in the state juvenile system and an additional 18 years in state prison. She started serving her sentence at the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility.
Tess sought parole for the first time in 2018, having served over a decade of her sentence, and was subsequently granted parole in April 2019. In her letter to the parole board, she wrote, “The person I am now at the age of 25 is drastically different. The past 10 years, thanks to the various treatment opportunities I was afforded, have opened my eyes to the person I used to be. I am able to see my thought process that led to my crime and I know that I will never find myself back at that place.” She has remained under the radar since her release and not much has been known about her publicly since then.
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