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Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

A PENNSYLVANIA STATE Police criminal investigator looks down at the culvert along Cooley Creek Road in Abrahamsville, Pa. where Callicoon Saloon co-owner Lyn Phillips’ body was found Sunday morning.

Woman's Death
Remains a Mystery

By Jeanne Sager and Ted Waddell
ABRAHAMSVILLE, PA — August 27, 2002 – The co-owner of a popular Callicoon tavern was found dead Sunday.
According to Wayne County Coroner Ed Murray, the body of Marilyn “Lyn” Phillips, who co-owned Lyn and Randy’s Callicoon Saloon and Beanery on Main Street in the hamlet, was found Sunday along Cooley Creek Road near Abrahamsville, Pa.
The body was reportedly recovered from rocks near the roadside culvert at Cooley Creek, nearly 10 feet down. The only evidence visible at the scene yesterday were some splatters of blood on the rocks at the water’s edge.
It is unconfirmed whether Phillips’ death is a homicide; however the case is currently under criminal investigation by Pennsylvania State Police.
“She did have some trauma,” Murray stated, but a post-mortem was scheduled for late Monday afternoon, and he was unsure what the results would be.
“You can speculate all kinds of things,” he said, “but we’d like to know for sure before we release information to the public.”
Murray said he believed Phillips’ body was discovered by her husband of almost 28 years, John Rand “Randy” Phillips. The discovery was made approximately one and a half miles from the Phillips’ residence and about one half mile from the intersection of Edwards and Cooley Creek roads. The location is about five miles from the Callicoon-Pennsylvania bridge over the Delaware River.
Randy Phillips was taken in for questioning by Pennsylvania State Police Sunday evening and released early Monday, according to Syracuse lawyer and family friend Robert Smith, a former Callicoon resident.
According to an article in yesterday afternoon’s edition of the Scranton Times, Phillips told police that, after taking an employee home around 2 a.m. Sunday, he and Lyn, who was in the back seat, drove over Kellams Bridge in Hankins. When he got home, he said he noticed his wife was missing. After calling friends, he searched for Lyn until finding the police scene, said the Times.
No charges have been lodged at this point, Smith added.
“At least for now they didn’t have any evidence,” he said. “And after questioning him and investigating the scene and his house, if they weren’t able to arrest him, then there’s no evidence.”
Early Monday afternoon, criminal investigators and forensic technicians were combing the residence on Robb Road, processing the crime scene.
The couple resides in Abrahamsville. They have owned and operated the blues-themed saloon in Callicoon for the past six years. The business is regularly closed on Mondays, and no other information was available at press time.
But local residents were shocked by the events.
“It don’t happen here very often, but it does happen,” said Ron Rutledge of Rutledge Repair, a shop on the Abrahamsville Road near the home of Lyn and Randy Phillips.
“I’ve known them for a long time,” added Bob Vairo, a logger from Long Eddy. “They’re very nice people; they run a nice bar and restaurant.
“She’s a nice lady, and he’s a nice guy,” he added. “I feel terrible for them – that’s a terrible thing.”
Vairo showed up for work Monday morning at a property directly across from the spot where Phillips’ body was discovered on the land of New Jersey resident Kimberly Pechota.
“It’s like there’s better places to hide somebody,” he said, staring across at the crime scene. “It’s like they didn’t care if they found her.”
Smith, who has known the couple for more than 30 years, said he can’t recall a time when the Phillipses weren’t together.
“In my 20s, we all hung out with the same crowd,” Smith said. “Randy wouldn’t have done anything like this.”
While dealing with the aftermath of a friend’s death, Smith was trying to act only as a lawyer and support Randy.
He could confirm that there was trauma to Lyn Phillips’ body from “external means.”

Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

THE CALLICOON SALOON and Beanery on Main Street is a well-known and popular business in Callicoon, owned and operated by Randy and Lyn Phillips since 1996.

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