Details of Disappearance
Bryla was last seen when a taxi driver dropped her off at her home near 85th and Bennett in Chicago, Illinois on March 14, 2019. She has never been heard from again. In November 2019, Marvin Bailey, her ten-year-old son's half-brother, was charged with her murder. A photo of Bailey is posted with this case summary.
Investigators believe Bailey killed Bryla sometime between the afternoon of March 14, and three days later. He has a violent history; in November 2018, he was paroled after serving less than four years for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon; he had hit his girlfriend with a hammer and set her on fire. He moved into Bryla's home in February 2019 and was living there until Bryla argued with his girlfriend and asked him to move out.
Surveillance footage showed Bailey and another individual, who hasn't been publicly identified, driving around Chicago after Bryla disappeared and purchasing bungee cords, straps and a dolly using cash they got from Bryla's bank account with her debit card. She had recently got her income tax return, and after her disappearance, Bailey and his companion emptied her bank account.
On March 16, Bailey and his companion took a Lyft ride to Bryla's apartment and carried a large blue container out of the building into that Lyft. Eventually, they put the container in Bailey's van. The container was so large and heavy that they were using the dolly they'd bought to carry it. The following day, the pair were briefly detained by Chicago police officers when they tried to run away as officers stopped to check Bailey's van while it was parked in a vacant lot. Bailey and his companion told the police were they on their way to a Home Depot store to buy a chainsaw. They were released without getting cited and without getting the van searched.
Bailey and his friend then took a Lyft to the King's Inn at 128th Street and Ashland Avenue. They took the blue container with them, and Bailey told the Lyft driver he had recently been evicted with all of his belongings and the container held "his meats." At the King's Inn, the elevator was inoperable and Bailey and his friend struggled to carrying the blue container up three flights of stairs after Bailey checked in.
Surveillance video showed Bailey using the dolly he'd bought to throw the blue container in a dumpster at a strip mall near the King's Inn. He left with the empty dolly. A worker at the strip mall saw the container and what appeared to be a heavy black bag inside the dumpster.
Investigators believe Bryla's body wound up in an Indiana landfill. They searched the landfill but have not located her remains. However, they did find the blue container with Bryla's DNA inside, as well as a "significant amount" of blood in Bryla's apartment, and blood inside Bailey's van and in the King's Inn room he checked into. A cadaver dog indicated the scent of human remains in the alley where the blue container was put in the dumpster. Bailey is awaiting trial in the murder.
According to Bryla's family, she did not have a high risk lifestyle or a history of leaving without warning. She left milk and other perishable food inside her fridge. Foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.