Vail Police arrest woman found in dumpster for false reporting, say her story is ‘fictitious’ |

Vail Police arrest woman found in dumpster for false reporting, say her story is ‘fictitious’

Vail resident Linnea Hayda, 31, was arrested Thursday, April 12, for false reporting in connection with a March 27 incident in which she was found in a dumpster in Vail's Sandstone neighborhood. Vail police say her story is "fictitious."
Vail Police Department photo

VAIL — A woman found in a dumpster was arrested for false reporting Thursday, April 12.

Linnea Marlene Hayda, 31, of Vail, was arrested in connection to a March incident in which she was found in a dumpster Vail’s Sandstone neighborhood.

Hayda is being charged with attempting to influence a public servant, a Class 4 felony; tampering with physical evidence, a Class 6 felony; and false reporting to police, a Class 3 misdemeanor.

If she is convicted, then she faces up to six years in prison, said Heidi McCollum, assistant district attorney.

Hayda is free on $7,500 bond.

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Vail police said they spent more than 200 hours investigating Hayda’s allegations, which they say are “fictitious.”

“The charges in this case are serious. Every time we investigate allegations, every time we take a case of this magnitude, it takes away resources from other cases and away from actual victims,” McCollum said. “That’s not fair to those victims, it’s not fair to our community.”

“People have been on edge, thinking that someone is harming people and dropping them in trash dumpsters. Hopefully, they can now rest easier,” McCollum said.

What police say happened

At approximately 5:37 a.m. Tuesday March 27, three days before a March 30 custody hearing in District Court involving her children, Hayda was found in a dumpster with her wrists ziptied in front of her, according to police.

A court protection order made it illegal for her to be in the vicinity of the apartment at 1040 Vail View Drive, Vail Police confirmed.

The next day, Hayda came to the Vail Daily building in Eagle-Vail. She had scrapes on her cheek and forehead and voluntarily told a reporter that she had finished her shift at her Avon job between 4 and 5 p.m. Monday, March 26. She claimed that she was abducted around 5:30 p.m., and that the person who took her threw her into a car and told her she would not see her children again.

During that interview, Hayda said she did not remember anything until she was found in the dumpster the next morning.

When Vail police found Hayda on March 27, she was alive, conscious and breathing but was unable to talk, police said.

Her story “proved to be fictitious,” police said.

“Vail detectives concluded that an account provided by Hayda, which led police to issue an alert to the community asking about suspicious activity, proved to be fictitious,” Vail Police said following Thursday’s arrest.

Vail Police arrested her Thursday, and she posted bond in Vail.

“We appreciate the officers and detectives who devoted their time and expertise to this case and also the public who helped us. We know this caused concern in the community and hope this helps lay some fears to rest,” the Vail Police said in a statement.

McCollum said Vail Police Department detectives unit worked “tirelessly” on this case.

“One of our jobs is to make sure that when individuals who are accused of crimes, they’re not charged until a thorough investigation is done,” McCollum said.

“The detective unit at the Vail Police Department has been very thorough,” McCollum said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and

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