MEDINA COUNTY, Ohio — It’s grown into a small-town mystery wrapped inside a crime scene believed by many to be staged.
Sprinkled with police missteps, and a curious death that six years later still cannot be explained.
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The mystery plays out on two unlikely Medina County stages beginning at a blood-stained government office in Lafayette Township, and ending on the still serene waters of Chippewa Lake.
It’s a drama filled with scattered pieces left behind by Bryon Macron, a married father of three, former Marine, longtime jewelry salesman turned politician.
Its epilogue leaves off with a heartbroken wife and three young daughters, and a feeling that something more was at play that early morning of Dec. 16, 2016.
“I just, I open the door at night or I take out the garbage, and I look down the street like, when are you coming home? You know it's awful. It's an absolute nightmare,” Victoria Macron said.
Victor and Bryon Macron were a typical suburban couple, married for 23 years, raising their daughters in a tidy development. That all changed when Victoria Macron got a call at work. Bryon was missing.
In the preceding days, Bryon Macron, who was serving his first term as one of three township trustees, told multiple friends and coworkers of a planned meeting that frigid December morning with a resident, furious over passage of a fire levy a month earlier.
Strangely, Macron agreed to meet the man despite never learning the caller’s name, even after speaking to the man multiple times since Election Day. To this day, the “angry resident,” as he’s been labeled, has never been proven to exist, let alone identified.
To prepare, Macron arranged for fellow trustee Mike Costello and service director Rick Evans to be at the township administration building with him, if the meeting turned sour.
But when Evans arrived for his usual 7 a.m. shift, he found the office unlocked, blood spattered and in disarray.
Macron’s mangled glasses and his cell phone on the floor, his phone calendar curiously open to a reminder: “meeting with angry resident.”
Macron was not around.
To investigators, skepticism almost immediately took hold. The crime scene seemed too perfect. Maybe staged.
Meanwhile, a 4-minute drive away, at Chippewa Lake beach, was Macron’s dark Chevy SUV.
The driver’s side interior smudged in blood. Doors locked. Keys inside.
Macron still nowhere to be seen.
Victoria Macron’s suspicions immediately grew, too. At law enforcement. At her husband’s coworkers.
“There's no doubt in your mind that you believe he was murdered,” 3News Investigates Lynna Lai asked Victoria Macron during a recent interview at her home.
“Absolutely, I do,” she said.
“Why do you believe that? So, deep down…”
“Because I know my husband. Like I said, there were things uncovered in the records that I believe maybe he was going to expose or talk about with someone, and they didn't want that information to get out.”
WATCH: See Lynna Lai's complete interview with Victoria Macron below.
Medina County Sheriff’s deputies and the Ohio State Highway Patrol searched the frozen lake amid 5-degree temperatures. Macron was not found. A later investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Investigation found the search efforts wanting and the failure to recover Macron’s body “compounded” their investigation, leaving a wake of unanswered questions in an ocean of skepticism.
It was two months later that Macron’s body surfaced on the thawing lake.
What an autopsy didn’t show was startling. There was no water in his lungs, and it didn’t appear Macron drowned.
The 45-year-old former Marine wasn’t shot nor strangled.
There were no signs of restraints. No blunt force trauma. No poison or drugs in system.
All investigators found was the source of the blood found at the township offices and Macron’s car: several superficial knife wounds to Macron’s arms, shoulder and neck, none of which were capable of causing death. All possibly self-inflicted, according to medical findings, according to Medina County Coroner Dr. Lisa Deranek.
“There was no obvious source to tell us what caused his death,” she told 3News Investigates. “His heart good shape. Lungs in good shape. No brain injury, the injuries that were sustained were not life threatening.”
In the end, Deranek concluded a rare finding, one she estimates she’s made in just two of around 1,000 cases she’s handled.
“It was unusual from a body standpoint that we could not determine the cause of death,” she said.
The cause remains undetermined. However, Deranek and investigators believe the most likely scenario is that Macron succumbed to hypothermia before going under the water.
Meanwhile, Victoria Macron was incensed. She banned her husband’s two fellow trustees from attending his funeral. She hired a private investigator.
“That was just, I mean, [the private investigator] started looking at the records. He's like, something's not right here,” she said.
The BCI investigation ended in 2020 and concluded Macron likely created the angry resident meeting as a rouse and injured himself with a knife. He then drove to the lake and walked away. Some believe he did it to stage an abduction and may have died accidently.
The report cited surveillance cameras showing a vehicle similar to Macron’s arrived at the township offices around 2 a.m., a full six hours before the meeting. It then left around 6:30 a.m. A Chippewa Lake jogger later recalled seeing a man matching Macron’s description walking away from the SUV a short time later.
Investigators say Macron was receiving a flurry of phone calls from creditors, and often walked away to take the call. He often claimed the calls were from the “angry resident.”
They say there's evidence he used his computer in the weeks before his death to view dating sites. A report also alleges he viewed internet sites about how long a person can live after being cut, and how long a person can survive in the cold.
Victoria Macron doesn’t buy it. She said her family was no worse off financially than any family. She believes someone was involved in the death, and that her husband may have known of someone’s criminal conduct.
Perhaps it had to do with a hidden camera she said was installed at a township building. Or gun sales mentioned in a text. She questions the DNA evidence from the township offices.
She believes investigators took the easy route, ignoring her calls to examine potential suspects or scenarios.
Over six years later, Victoria Macron remains unconvinced that her husband’s actions caused his death.
So, who did?
Was it politics?
Did he know something?
All she can do is wonder and wait. For signs from her late husband, answers to questions she can’t shake.
“Oh, God, we talked about growing old together and our kids just watching them grow and grandkids,” she said. “And I still to this day, cannot believe this. It just saddens me so much.
“I just even haven't had a day to grieve myself because I've just gone in and fought from the very beginning. And that's not the way it should be.”
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