After having her first baby girl at the age of 16, Christina Woods had found her calling in life – to be a mother.
The 28-year-old had three more children – two girls and a boy.
At their home in South Bend, Indiana, she loved to spend time with her offspring. They would tinker together and they all loved chanting lines from their favorite Disney movies while singing and dancing the songs.
Christina’s dad wasn’t there when she was growing up, and it hadn’t always been easy for her, so she was determined she didn’t want the same for her kids.
Together with her husband Troy, she tried to create the family she had always dreamed of, but there was an error in her intent.
It was 2017 and Christina was having an affair with Daniel Lynn – the husband of her best friend Brooke, 28. She and Brooke had known each other almost all of their lives and they had all spent time together as couples.
Over time, Christina had acted based on her attraction to Lynn. But it wasn’t a fairytale romance – Lynn was dangerously dominant.
Several times, Lynn was violent with her and even spent time in the hospital after a physical argument with her lover.
In late 2017, Troy discovered what was going on and their family got into an uproar.
Suddenly, Christina’s dream of a perfect home life had fallen apart when Troy filed for divorce and they started talking about custody arrangements.
Brooke and Lynn stayed together, but the affair had destroyed the friendship group forever.
In June 2018, the dust had settled and the Woods family began to heal. Troy and Christina got on better together, and Troy would later say their divorce was on hold when they found out if their relationship could be saved.
Troy believed there was a chance they could make it work. In fact, they all went to the beach as a family, and Troy said it had been before.
Christina had laughed and they had held hands as they walked along the sand. Christina was determined that the children would still have a father who was very much in their lives.
She had taken a new job and told her mother, Mary Robinson, that she was excited to take care of the children.
A week later, Christina disappeared.
On June 13, she sent a message to her stepfather asking for help. She said she was in trouble and needed to be arrested. But hours later, he received another message from Christina’s phone that she was fine and that she was not allowed to tell her mother.
It seemed as if everything that had happened had blown over, but then there was no sign of her.
No one believed Christina would leave her children of her choice and there were no withdrawals from her bank account, which was very unusual.
A missing person’s case was launched and the hunt was looking for her. When an officer discovered that Troy and Christina’s marriage had been broken by an affair, it was only natural to look at Troy as a suspect.
He said they got back together but had he misunderstood and cruelly punished Christina for beating him back?
But soon the investigation turned into Christina’s affair with Lynn. Christina’s phone records placed her near a country home just hours away from Cook, Minnesota.
The secluded house, located on 80 acres, was owned by one of Lynn’s relatives. Coincidence or something more? Had Lynn and Christina still seen each other?
Lynn was still local and when questioned admitted he had been at the property to please a family member, but denied knowing anything about why Christina was around.
Police visited the property and discovered that the lawn had been freshly cut. There were also cleaning products on site, including bleach. It made agents suspicious.
When officers returned on July 2, they found a fire pit with metal buttons from jeans and a chain.
Nearby they saw newly turned soil. There they discovered a shallow grave, and when it was excavated, they found Christina’s bound and wrapped body.
The search was over. Christina’s fate was discovered.
On the same day, the police received a tip from a citizen after they made a request for information.
The person said that Lynn had admitted to murdering someone, but was sure that the body would never be found. But Christina’s body was found, and officers went to arrest him.
By then Lynn had fled. People speculated about the motive behind Christina’s murder.
Troy said he was about to go back with his wife and suspected Lynn had murdered Christina out of jealousy.
While others said Lynn had a history of being violent with Christina and escalating.
Christina’s heartbroken mother called her daughter a victim of domestic violence.
Lynn was eventually tracked down and arrested. He hid in a motor home at a campground in Michigan. Agents were shocked to discover who had helped him hide – his wife, Brooke.
She knew he killed her former best friend and that he was covering him. Although no one had seen Lynn, Brooke had been seen getting groceries for both of them.
Lynn received a $ 1 million bail and was charged with Christina’s death. Brooke was also charged with housing a fugitive.
In 2019, as part of a plea deal, Lynn, 40, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on purpose while committing a crime.
He admitted that he strangled Christina on his relative’s property.
Lynn did not explain why – and although the Prosecution pointed to domestic violence, they said it was clear that Lynn was a very dangerous man who had harmed Christina in a separate attack before the murder. This time the violence had ended her death.
The prosecution said that Lynn may not have tried to kill Christina, but the crime had enormous consequences.
“He took the life of a daughter,” they told the court. “He took a mother’s life. He took the life of a friend of many. ‘
Lynn was convicted two months later.
Christina’s mother told the judge that she would never stop digging into the “whole truth” about her daughter’s murder.
“Christina and her children have been cheated together from their future,” she said in court. “Christina’s murder tore her children apart.”
The judge said Lynn tended to be violent and believed he was superior to others.
She said no time she’d given Lynn would be enough. The crime was “meaningless” and nothing could ease the pain it had caused.
The judge told Lynn that she hopes he achieves some level of remorse while behind bars and getting out of prison as a “better person.”
Lynn declined the opportunity to speak and was sentenced to 16 and a half years’ imprisonment.
Lynn must serve at least two-thirds of the sentence, a little over 11 years, before he is eligible for supervised release.
Christina’s mother was disappointed with the sentence. “I think he deserved more time,” she said, but said she was grateful that he was off the street, “where he can’t hurt anyone.”
Mary added that she didn’t want Christina to be remembered as a victim of domestic violence or a murder victim.
“She is human, a mother, a sister, a daughter,” she said. She said that Christina loved butterflies and that they were always with her children.
In 2019, Lynn’s wife Brooke pleaded guilty to housing a fugitive. A month later, she was sentenced to one year in prison and two years of probation for her part in the death of her former best friend.
Christina had been betrayed by two people who were very close to her and paid the final price.