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Murdered

Lori Lynn

Who had a motive to stage this farm accident?

  • Last updated: May 25, 2024
  • Liberty, OH
  • July 31, 2017

Overview of Lori Lynn

Who staged this murder to look like a farm accident?

Lorraine “Lori” Lynn was known as a fierce woman who blazed her way through a male-dominated industry. As a child, Lori was a tomboy. She was practically raised on tractors, and it quickly became clear that Lori would one day have a fulfilling career working construction with heavy machinery.

Lori was born on April 25, 1957 to her parents Wanda Pullin and Howard Pullin Jr. Lori’s parents had five children together — four girls and one boy. They all grew up on luscious acres of property in rural Liberty Township, Ohio.

Lori graduated from Liberty High School in June of 1975, and hit the ground running on building a career. She worked as a bookkeeper and contemplated making accounting her career, even attending Youngstown State University working toward that goal. But, as time went on, her calling to be a woman “breaking the glass ceiling” in the construction industry grew louder.

Lori and her parents, Howard Jr. and Wanda.

In 1976, Lori married Timothy Lynn. The two rented a small home in Girard before paying Howard Jr. to build a home for them on a front lot of the family farm. By 1979, the home was complete, and Lori and Tim later had two children, Corrine “Corrie” and Samantha.

Lori was never afraid to get her hands dirty, and she wouldn’t shy away from a challenge.

Over the years, Lori got the necessary training to operate heavy machinery, and started working for the Workers Local Union 66. Her work was extremely dangerous — using the machines to dig holes and ditches, grate roads,and install drainage pipes. On some sites, she even had to work with or around hazardous materials.

Her coworkers commented on her great skills and the lack of supervision she needed to get the job done.

A newspaper article honoring women ‘breaking the glass ceiling’ included pictures of Lori operating heavy equipment and her bio.
“I know everybody would say that their loved one is special, and they are, I’m sure, but my mom was a rare breed of woman,” Lori’s daughter, Samantha, writes on the official website for Lori’s case.
“My mom was my best friend, I could go to her with anything, big or small, with complete honesty,” Lori’s daughter, Corrie, also writes. “She was the backbone of this family, the glue that kept us all together until her last breath.


Lori and Tim were married for 25 years before divorcing in 2001. They stayed on good terms, with Tim even continuing to live in the home built for them next door to Wanda Pullin. After the divorce, Lori moved to Ravenna because by then, she was employed by Northern Ohio Paving.

Just before that, Lori worked for Shelly and Sands, a highway construction company for approximately fifteen years where she made many friends and eventually met her soon-to-be fiancé, Mark Schoonover.

“She loved Mark — I remember the day she showed me her engagement ring and how happy she was,” Corrie’s noted.

Samantha reflects on the fact that her mom only lived to see one year into her retirement — a thought that breaks her heart knowing how hard her mom worked to enjoy her later years.

“My mother was a workhorse, a tough love mom, who wanted nothing more than to spend every moment of her retirement with the ones she loved,” Samantha wrote.

Tense Family History

Lori’s father, Howard Jr., died of a heart attack on September 13, 2016. The next-of-kin included his wife Wanda, and their five children. At the time of his death, Howard owned several rental buildings and parcels of land. All of the assets were left to Wanda.

The daughters always had a feeling that their brother, Howard Pullin III — known as Chip — was stealing money from their parents. Lori wanted to put an end to it by taking over the finances.

Lori was aware of a few incidents when Chip used family money for repairs on the rental properties he managed, When asked, Chip had difficulty producing receipts ,and accounting for the work he claimed he had done. Chip also never deposited the rents he collected into their mother’s bank accounts. The money simply vanished.

Diane says “He always had an excuse.”

To set things right, Lori conferred with Diane and Wanda to make arrangements for Geisler Realty to manage the Pulling properties and eliminate issues with Chip. An agreement was signed on April 11, 2017, and two weeks later, Chip was notified that he no longer had authority over the properties.

Chip called Dan Geisler of the Geisler Realty group to complain. Wanda decided that Chip could continue to do some of the repairs on the properties, but Lori and Dan made sure to organize everything to keep Chip in line.

Ultimately, the problems continued and Chip was excluded from repair work. He was fully kicked-out of anything relating to his father’s properties.

Then, on May 29, 2017, one of the properties was sold, resulting in $15,000 going into Wanda Pullin’s bank account under Geisler Reality as part of continued property management agreement. That same day, Dan got a threatening call from Chip, who said the money belonged to him. Chip demanded that Dan transfer him the money.

When Dan refused, Chip threatened to sue Dan, to which he responded that he’d welcome a lawsuit. It was clear to everyone that Chip was escalating his threats as his frustration with the money management grew.

Shortly thereafter, Lori was murdered.

August 1, 2017

On the morning of August 1, 2017, Lori left her home to travel to Liberty Township to pick up her mother and get some property paperwork in order. The pair had planned to go to the County Recorder’s office together and update the records for one of the family properties.

On the way over, Lori called her mother, Wanda, nine times. She never answered.

Lori had no way of knowing that earlier, Chip and his wife Kim picked up Wanda to go to the office of their family attorney to close a deal on one of Wanda’s properties. Chip received a check for $15,000 for the sale of the property — which he deposited 2 days later.

The other members of the family were unaware of the deal.

Lori eventually makes it to Wanda’s house. She was driving her white Nissan SUV, a new car that she was incredibly proud of and intended to keep for the rest of her life.

Lori can be seen on the home surveillance footage pulling into the long gravel driveway and parking around noon. Lori enters her mother’s house, and then leaves just over 30 minutes later — with papers in her hand. She leaves the residence, and turns into the direction of where Chip lives — just three houses south.

This is the last time Lori is seen on the security cameras… but something odd happens about 30 minutes later.

Lori’s white Nissan SUV can be seen briefly on the security cameras entering the driveway at 1:14pm, but it doesn’t continue up the driveway. Instead, the car turns off-road, and drives in the grass around the property and behind a barn. All of this maneuvering evades the security cameras.

It’s obvious the route was taken by the driver to avoid being seen by the security cameras installed on the front of the residence.

Why would Lori want to avoid the cameras when she had a prior arrangement to spend time with her mother, Wanda? Unless, Lori wasn’t the one driving her car…

"There's only a handful of people that knew where the cameras are," Samantha told WKYC News, "where they point…how to avoid them.”

Chip would’ve been one of the people, the family notes. Tim has also told Bob Friedrick that Chip is able to monitor the cameras, and he knows when people come on and off Wanda’s property.

At 1:47pm, Lori gets a call on her cellphone, but she does not answer. Every text and call from that moment on goes unanswered.

Where is Lori?

By the evening of August 1, 2017, many have started to notice Lori’s absence.

Her fiance, Mark, contacts their local police department in Brimfield Township to report Lori as missing. Lori’s daughter, Samantha, contacts the Liberty Township Police to report her as missing.

The next morning, Tim, Lori’s ex-husband, drives the few houses over to get to Wanda’s property and look for Lori. Tim told Private Investigator Bob Friedrick that out of the coroner of his eye, he could see a small portion of Lori’s car sticking out behind the barn.

Lori's car is discovered behind the barn.

He parked his car, and walked over to Lori’s car — which was strangely parked in construction debris. He could see that her purse was there, so he assumed Lori must’ve been inside the house.

When he stepped inside Wanda’s home, he saw Wanda on the phone with Kim, Chip’s wife. Tim checked throughout the house and didn’t find Lori. After a brief exchange with Wanda and Kim over the phone, Tim stepped outside and met Chip. This was approximately at 7:00am.

Tim and Chip go behind the barn and take a deeper look at the car’s situation. The area is strewn with broken glass and construction debris. The family says the spot is considered a “trash and burn pile” and not a place anyone would park their vehicle, especially when the residence has a functioning driveway.

Lori had recently washed the car — making it even more unlikely that she’d willingly park it in the trash pile knowing it would get dirty and undo her hard work.

But, her car being parked behind the barn is more than just atypical… it’s likely a red flag of something sinister.

Ultimately, Tim and Chip follow a trail of freshly cut grass. After walking for a bit and coming up on a pond on the property, Chip says, “There is the tractor!”

Tim told Bob Friedrick that once he could see the tractor, he also noticed a human right leg. Tim realized it was Lori — sitting on the tractor seat with her head and shoulders submerged in the water.

Tim remembers getting on the brush hog trying to get to Lori when Chip said, “Don’t touch anything.” This immediately confused Tim, to which he responded, imploring, “There is your sister, that’s your sister!”

The pair stood nearby just as the EMTs arrived. Eventually Chief Tessone arrived and observed the scene for approximately 10-15 minutes. When he approached the family, he suggested that Lori hit her head, lost consciousness, and went into the water.

A Farm Accident?

Unaware of the cameras on the residence, the Liberty Township Police Department quickly ruled the death a “farm accident” — and the family vehemently disagreed immediately.


Lori’s daughters went as far as to place several frantic 911 calls immediately after hearing of Lori’s death because they were concerned that foul play was involved. Both Corrie and Samantha were told that their perspectives would be valuable to the police … but they were never interviewed.

Bob Friedrick, a former FBI Agent and current Private Investigator working on this case, has been quick to note something odd about the “farm accident” theory — Lori was a heavy equipment operator for 30 years. He says it’s highly improbable that she would’ve had an accident involving the tractor.

One of Lori’s peers who was also an operating engineer agrees. They’ve said, "There is no way Lori could have driven the tractor into the family pond. Absolutely no way!"

Diane Pullin said she never believed her sister died by accident.

"There was so much that wasn’t logical, making sense," she told WKYC News. "There’s no way she’s going to drive a tractor straight into a pond."

The Subsequent Investigation

Trying to craft together a timeline, Samantha and her aunt Diane Pullin watched hours of the farm’s surveillance video to catch a glimpse of Lori’s car returning to the house.

“We watched this video 50 or 60 times over and over again before we found a small blip of the car. It came down through the driveway right here and it made a sharp left,” Samantha said.

These revelations led to Lori’s family contacting Forensic Engineering, PLLC to evaluate the death scene. Specifically, the accident investigation experts were asked to examine the tractor for a possible malfunction and to provide an objective opinion, including supporting rationale to see if the tractor was defective leading to Lori's death, or if there were any mechanical damages.

Ultimately, the Principle Engineer, Thomas Baker, determined that the tractor was in perfect working order. No defects prevented the tractor from being stopped, or steered by the operator. The findings suggest that the tract was running normally prior to the accident.

Here is Thomas Baker's walk-through of the property, filming the grass cut leading from the original tractor's location, up to the pond where Lori was discovered.

Strangely enough, around the same time this forensic engineering investigation was taking place, Chip was attempting to make changes to his mother’s will.


Chip had a discussion with Diane where he expressed that he wanted to remove Lori’s children from the will after she was found dead. The current will of Wanda Pullin states that “should any of my children as named above predecease me leaving child(ren) surviving each child or children shall take the share of the deceased parent as if the deceased parent should have survived me.”

This was a complete shock to Diane, and exposed Chip for only thinking about money — not about Corrie and Samantha.

New Ruling: Homicide

Six months later, on March 9, 2018, thanks to the dedication of Lori’s loved ones and their collection of the footage from cameras on the residence, and new facts, the coroner ruled Lori’s death a homicide.

The coroner discovered that Lori was asphyxiated and there was no water in her lungs from the pond. This indicates that Lori was already deceased before entering the water, and rules out the idea that she hit her head and drowned. She also had multiple lacerations and contusions on her head and face — unlikely wounds from the tractor, and more likely wounds from an attack.

Soon after Lori’s manner of death was declared a homicide, Chip stopped talking to the police and instead hired a prominent Cleveland criminal defense attorney. He’s refused to take a polygraph test, even though he promised he would.


"I have not been able to grieve because of all the allegations," Chip told 3News Investigates. He denies any involvement, but the burning questions still remain.

“Her life was lived for us, the one’s she loved.” Corrie shared in her final thoughts. “I bet if [my mom] were asked if she could do it all over again, she would.”

Bob Friedrick and Lori's family believe there are witnesses who are afraid to come forward, but is hopeful that the $20,000 reward offered for information leading to a conviction will inspire someone to speak up. If you have any information about the murder of Lori Lynn, please share what you know — you will remain anonymous. You can email leads@WhoKilledLoriLynn.com, call the tip line at (330) 539-9830, or fill out the Google Form on the official website of Lori’s case.

Information

  1. Date Missing:July 31, 2017
  2. Date Found:August 1, 2017
  3. Date of Death:July 31, 2017
  4. Birthday:April 25, 1957
  5. Age at Incident:60

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