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CANTON | How Ryan Brunn became a murder suspect | News

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CANTON | How Ryan Brunn became a murder suspect
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ATLANTA -- The GBI conducted an interview with Ryan Brunn just one day after the discovery of Jorelys Rivera's body.  It was December 6, 2011-- the day after investigators had found the body of Jorelys Rivera.  The seven year old girl had been abducted and murdered four days earlier.

Brunn was an employee at the apartment complex in Canton where the girl lived. At this point he was only a potential suspect.

But the interview became a turning point in the investigation.  11Alive News obtained a copy of the video from the GBI after submitting a request under the state Open Records Act.

Brunn started the interview by admitting he'd lied to a detective a day earlier-- about whether he'd run a trash compactor where the child's body was found.  "I should have just told the truth straight up," Brunn tells a GBI agent during a videotaped interview.  "But I didn't.  I was scared." 

During this interview, Brunn was denying his involvement in the girl's murder, compounding the lies, and raising his profile as a murder suspect.

"Did you cause the death of that girl?" the agent asks.  Brunn repeatedly is heard answering "no" to variations of that question.

Even though Brunn knew he was lying, he agreed to allow a GBI examiner to fit him with a polygraph.

The polygraph would have likely been inadmissable in court. But the polygraph gave detectives their strongest indication that Brunn was their suspect.

Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Peter Ash says Brunn may have agreed to the polygraph for a reason.

"It's not that they just want to get caught," Ash said of some criminal suspects.  "I mean consciously they may think, I want to get away with this. But unconsciously or out of their awareness, they may be feeling guilty and may think that they ought to be caught."

Brunn's story began to unravel at the end of the polygraph. He begins to nervously check his cell phone.  Under questioning, Brunn admits he smoked marijuana shortly before this interview.

And then the examiner tells Brunn that the polygraph showed he was lying.

"Something is bothering you. It's written all over face," the agent says.  "Nothing is bothering me," Brunn answers.  "I'm not bothered at all. I'm not bothered at all."

During interviews with police, Brunn denied he'd ever been accused of a crime against children. But at the conclusion of this interview, police remind him of a molestation allegation years earlier in Virginia.

"What if they have found a record of it?" the agent asks Brunn.  "They don't" have a record, Brunn answers.

"Yes," the agent responds. 

"Of what?" Brunn asks.

"You know what I'm talking about," the agent answers.\

"No, I don't," answers Brunn.

"In Virginia."  The agent reminds Brunn of an allegation made against him when he lived in Virginia years earlier.  Brunn relents.

"Why did you lie about that?" the agent asks.

"I really didn't think it was on my record," Brunn answers.

Cornered, Brunn admits to another lie, and the GBI focused its murder investigation on him.  Brunn was arrested the following day.  Eleven days later in court, Brunn would admit that he lied throughout the interview, admitting he was Jorelys Rivera's killer.

Brunn committed suicide in prison.

Brunn denied guilt for eleven more days, until his courtroom confession January 17th. Two days later, Brunn committed suicide in a prison cell.

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