MEDINA COUNTY, Ohio — Lynda Bowers and Michael Costello worked together with Bryon Macron for years as Lafayette Township trustees, but they said they were more than just coworkers.
“He was our friend, and if he came back today, he’d still be our friend. That's what's so hard about this. We we didn't we want to talk about this,” said Bowers.
Macron went missing in 2016. His body was found in Chippewa Lake two months later. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation found no one, other than Macron, was responsible for his death.
“There is no evidence to identify any other person to being involved in this matter. The likely conclusion would be that Mr. Macron did this,” said Medina County Prosecutor Forrest Thompson in October 2020.
BCI’s 23-page report starts the day Macron went missing in December 2016. Police were called to Macron’s office at the Lafayette Township Administration Building. There, police found Macron’s blood and signs of a struggle.
But the report said the struggle was staged. Investigators cited the furniture was in disarray but not damaged, a water bottle was not knocked down, the paperwork was not displaced and that the blood was consistent with staging.
The report goes on to suggest that Macron drove himself to Chippewa Lake, where his body was found in Feb. 2017 in the water, it had cuts on it and he didn’t have water in his lungs.
The medical examiner ruled his death inconclusive.
When asked why he didn’t have any water in his lungs, Thompson theorized that Macron may have died from hypothermia and when the lake thawed, the water carried his body into the lake.
“Bryon’s death was tragic and the investigators findings were shocking, but we refrained from commenting on that,” said Bowers.
Although the case was closed in the eyes of investigators, a podcast, Invisible Ships, has very much kept it open in the eyes of the public.
“Most people in this area, I think, they would tend to agree that things aren't adding up,” said Darren Knupp, the co-host of the podcast. “We definitely do feel like there's more to this story.”
Knupp said they started the podcast before BCI’s investigation came to a close, but even after the reports came out, he felt like there were too many inconsistencies in the case.
“I think having eyes on anything is always a good thing,” he said.
But for Costello and Bowers, they claim the podcast has turned their lives upside down.
"It's very reckless and it's harmful to our community," said Bowers.
They said some listeners have accused them of covering up Macron’s death and they’ve even received death threats.
“This was a very complex case that was investigated by three independent law enforcement agencies and they determined that no crime was committed,” said Costello. “It’s nothing more than rumors, rumors and conspiracy theories.”
Knupp said the podcast never intended to hurt anyone, just to seek the truth.
“I would love to have their interview. I wanted their interview from the get-go. We reached out to them twice,” he said.
But Bowers said she and Costello declined because they felt like their words would be exploited.
“We're open and honest. We've not tried to twist the truth, at all,” said Knupp.
Now, Bowers and Costello have launched their own website: Lafayette Facts.
The goal is to debunk what has been said in the podcast with sworn affidavits and police reports.
“The only people that make noise are the only people that are going to be heard. You don't hear anybody out there that has read the reports, that believes the reports out there, making any noise,” said Costello.
The two hope it will put closure on the case.
“Simply, we want to dispel the Internet rumors and express our continuing grief for our friend,” she said.
News 5 also reached out to Bryon’s wife, Victoria Macron, and she said “I do not have any comment about their website. I would encourage interested viewers to listen to the Invisible Ships “Murder Lake” podcast and join our “Justice for Bryon Macron” FB page and make your own decisions as to the accuracy and quality of the investigation conducted by the Medina County Sheriff’s Department and BCI. This case should be reopened and a more thorough investigation conducted.”