Suspect in Egg case released from jail
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The onetime suspect in the death of Brian Egg, a gay man whose decomposed torso was found in a fish tank in his South of Market home last summer, was released from jail Wednesday, April 24, the Bay Area Reporter has learned.
Lance Silva, 40, was being held on an Alameda County parole violation in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. San Francisco police initially arrested Silva and another man for Egg's homicide but the district attorney's office dropped the charges pending further investigation.
"This is a travesty. What a shocking development," Egg's longtime friend and neighbor Scot Free told the Bay Area Reporter Wednesday. "The one-year anniversary is looming but still no real developments. Looks like justice won't be served in this case. Disgusting"
Free learned of Silva's release from the B.A.R. He said that even Egg's family was unaware of his release.
Egg's older brother, Devon Egg, 69, didn't know about Silva's release until after he was freed Wednesday.
"I am very angry about this, the brother said. "I got no notice about this."
Devon Egg added that he was later forwarded an official email notice with information about Silva's release and he called the number listed on the notice but the person who answered said they were connected with a correctional institution and could not help him.
The brother added that he was taking solace in his Christian faith, that he forgave Silva and that he believed justice would be done.
"I have confidence that this is going to come to fruition and that Lance Silva is not going to get away with what he has done," the Devon Egg said.
Free lives on Clara Street near Egg's home. He helped rally support among Egg's friends and neighbors after Egg had gone missing over the summer. San Francisco police said Egg had been last seen in late May or early June 2018. Despite numerous calls from neighbors, police did not enter the home until mid-August, after a private crime scene cleanup crew arrived at the home.
Neighbors said that Silva had been living in the home during the time Egg was missing. Egg's brother, Devon Egg, told the B.A.R. that he called his brother in late June or early July and an answering machine picked up. He was suspicious because his brother never used an answering machine and the recorded greeting was not his brother's voice. The voice asked callers to leave a message. He called again later and someone answered the phone who identified himself as Nate. He said Egg was out walking his dog and that he would have him call right back. No one called back.
Police said officers went by Egg's home three times but never searched the house. Officers finally entered the home on August 14 after a cleanup crew arrived at Egg's house. Police said Silva had used Egg's debit card to pay the workers. Investigators said the crew was met by Robert McCaffrey.
San Francisco police initially arrested Silva and another man for Egg's homicide but the district attorney's office declined to file charges, pending further investigation. Silva had previously been convicted in 2015 for stealing money from the retirement accounts of employees who worked for an upholstery company he once owned in Emeryville.
San Francisco police and the D.A.'s office have not immediately responded to the B.A.R.'s requests for comment. According to jail records, Silva was freed as of April 24. The reason listed for his release was "sentenced served."
Some neighbors said they were angry and frustrated that police did not search Egg's house early on after they reported their suspicions. Devon Egg took a conciliatory tone when asked about the police investigation.
"I am not in a position to condemn the police," the brother said "I don't know if I could do a better job than the police did. There were a lot of mistakes, all along the way. If I can forgive Lance Silva, I got to be able to forgive the SF Police Department. We all make mistakes."
Egg's home is near the intersection of Fifth and Harrison streets, an area that has seen a lot of new housing and skyrocketing real estate prices.
According to real estate records, Egg's home is about to be sold and is currently in escrow. The asking price was just over $1.5 million. Egg purchased the home in 1976 for $19,000.
Updated, 4/25/19: This article was updated to include comments from Devin Egg.