The sudden disappearance of a caring mother from her home in Pierre, South Dakota, prompted a desperate search by officials. They did, however, understand how she was murdered and how the killer planned to implicate someone else.
If you’re interested in learning more, we’ve got you covered.
What Caused Tami Reay’s Death? How Did She Die?
Tamera Dawnell Burns was born in June 1964 in Wyoming. She had two sisters, one of whom introduced her to her future husband, Brad Reay.
Before relocating to Pierre in 2004, the former high school athlete lived in Billings, Montana, with Brad and their daughter, Haylee. When disaster struck, the 41-year-old began working part-time at a nearby Kmart and was about to start a new job at a drugstore.
Bonnie, Tami’s mother, was concerned on February 8, 2006, when her daughter did not call her as she would every day. Tami’s family tried unsuccessfully to contact her.
Her coworker, Brian Clark, reported her missing once they noticed she wasn’t at work either. Tami’s naked body was discovered in a group of woods about 10 miles from Pierre on February 10, 2006.
She’d been stabbed 37 times and had five knife wounds in her back. Not only that, but her throat had been slit.
Who Was The Killer Of Tami Reay?
The authorities quickly discovered that Brian was not only Tami’s coworker, but that she had been having an affair with him as well. Brian stated during the 911 call that Tami’s husband had learned of their relationship.
He admitted to having spent the night before with Tami, but claimed to have returned home following their encounter. Brian, his wife, and his daughter had gone to a local basketball game. As a result, the authorities focused on Brad.
Brad was a manager at the local Walmart at the time. He admitted to the police that he knew Tami was having an affair, but that he had no idea who she was meeting.
On February 7, 2006, after 10 p.m., Brad returned home and heard Tami park her car and leave with someone. Brad drove her car to follow them, believing it was the lover, but she had car problems. He eventually returned home.
The authorities, on the other hand, discovered blood oozing from Tami’s car in the garage. On the inside, there was a strong chemical odour, indicating that someone had attempted to clean up the evidence swiftly.
When asked about the blood, Brad stated he had no knowledge of it. The cops also learnt from the family that Tami was intending to leave Brad and wanted a divorce.
While the authorities continued to question Brad, he maintained his innocence, stating, “I’m hoping you discover the body because it’ll be something to set me free.”
When Tami’s body was discovered, the attack’s heinous nature became clear. Brad, on the other hand, didn’t appear to be a violent individual; he didn’t appear to have a criminal record or a history of violent behaviour.
The authorities then got letters claiming Brian was involved in the murder. Tami had been raped the night she died, and a condom was still trapped within her body, according to them.
While the condom was not found during the initial autopsy, it was located during a second one, but the biological material within was too destroyed to provide any answers.
The letters were written by Brad’s twin brother, Bret, according to the investigators. Brad had asked his brother to come down to the prison with a pencil and paper, telling him about some letters that needed to be sent, over the phone.
Brad held out a piece of paper during the visit, and Bret copied the information down. The police then discovered a hidden audio clip that revealed Brad was aware of Brian’s identity. It was a cassette of Tami conversing with her lover that Brad had covertly taped four days before.
What Happened to Brad Reay And Where Is He?
Brad allegedly attacked Tami while she was sleeping, stabbing her five times in the back and slicing her neck, according to the prosecution. He then moved her body to the car, placing her body and blankets on a tarp.
Brad continued to stab her more times after that. The bloodied blankets and garments were later discovered in garbage cans at one of the places described in the letters.
While Brad admitted to inserting the condom into Tami’s body (he acquired a condom used by Brian during intercourse with Tami), he denied being responsible for her death.
Brad’s defence alleged at his trial in January 2007 that his then-13-year-old daughter murdered her mother as she slept.
Brad claimed she was disturbed by her parents’ divorce and claimed he saw her with a bloodied knife in Tami’s room.
Haylee, on the other hand, testified for the prosecution, saying she observed Brad doing laundry in the middle of the night, which she thought was unusual. Brad was convicted guilty of first-degree murder by the jury.
He was condemned to life in jail without the chance of release when he was 47 years old.
He is currently detained at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls, Minnehaha County, according to records.