Friday, June 1, 2007

Nicole Bryner: Suspect pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter

Time will tell whether he lied about the burial site or if investigators just haven't found little Nicole's body yet.

The article did not include photos, so these images are from the Charley Project (, which gives more details on earlier events in the case. The photo on the top left shows Nicole around age 3. The first two photos on the right show what she might look like today if by some chance Mr. Widman is lying and she is actually still alive. The bottom right photo shows Nicole's mother, and the bottom left photo is Timothy Wayne Widman himself.
Brookline man admits killing missing girl in 1982
By Bobby Kerlik
Thursday, May 31, 2007
A Brookline man pleaded guilty Thursday to
involuntary manslaughter for killing a 3-year-old girl, who was initially
reported missing from a South Side grocery store in 1982.
In a plea deal
with prosecutors, Timothy Widman, 52, was sentenced to 2 to 4 years in prison
for killing Nicole Lynn Bryner on March 11, 1982.
Widman lived with Nicole's
mother, Melody Thomas, when the child was reported missing from a Giant Eagle
supermarket. He confessed to Nicole's death in June 1986 and was charged with
involuntary manslaughter. Thomas, by then living in Texas, was charged with
giving false information to police and hindering apprehension.
dropped the manslaughter charges a year later because they could not find the
child's remains. At the time, case law dictated that a body was needed to prove
Widman told investigators he smacked the child to the floor after
she bit his foot while he was napping on the couch. He and Thomas put the girl
to bed and awoke the next day to find her dead, police said.
The couple
buried the girl's naked body in a wooded area in Brookline, Widman told
investigators. Thomas then reported her missing from the supermarket the next
day. When Widman was arrested in 1986, he led police to a wooded area off
Dunsten Avenue in Brookline where he said the child was buried. The area was
searched extensively, but nothing was found.
Cold case detectives arrested
Widman again in September after police obtained new information and took
advantage of a change in law stating that a body does not have to be found.
Police searched the area again in the fall but Nicole's body was never found
Bobby Kerlik can be reached at or 412-391-0927.
One question that comes to mind is why her body was naked, since it seems hard to believe that she was just going around the house without wearing anything. Then again, she was only 3, and I am no expert on the mannerisms of small children. Or maybe he took her clothes off to put her to bed? Or maybe he and her mother took off her clothes before the burial so that people would not find them buried and be suspicious?
If you have any additional information about the whereabouts of Nicole Lynn Bryner, please call the Pittsburgh Police Department at (412) 255-2800 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
If you choose, you can print a poster of Nicole from the NCMEC; however, it still has the story about her being abducted at the store.

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