Connie Goodwin never thought she would have to bury her son Edward. After his murder, she knew she had to bury him as she had brought him into this world: whole.
But it wasn’t that simple. Butler County Sheriff’s Office found just 40 percent of the remains of 32-year-old Edward Goodwin in a pond in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, in 2017 — two years after he was murdered and his body was wrapped in barbed wire and concrete blocks to secure it. would sink.
Forty percent wasn’t enough for Mrs. Goodwin, but it was enough to bring a case against his killers. The sheriff’s office went ahead with the investigation, promising Ms. Goodwin, her husband Ed, and Edward’s son Gage, who was 15 at the time, that they would eventually return to retrieve the rest of the body, Ms. Goodwin said. TSTIME.
For two years, Ms. Goodwin and her family hoped for closure, but the version of justice law enforcement gave them fell short, she said. The two men who took her son’s life were arrested, prosecuted and convicted, and yet 60 percent of Edward remained at the bottom of that partially drained pond.
“It was like the weather [too] hot or [too] cold, or there was no manpower, [or they were] waiting in the highway section to be overtaken,” Ms. Goodwin said in an interview on Friday. Finally, after five years of empty promises by the Butler County Sheriff, she decided to drain the pond to salvage the rest of Edward’s remains.
“We had to, I wouldn’t go through another winter without finding my son,” she said.
Family drains pond to find dead son’s remains
On September 17, Mrs. Goodwin, her husband, and her grandson went to the pond at 572 County Road with pumping equipment they had rented the day before.
“We got there at 8am, turned on the pump at 8:30am and at 10:30am we saw my son’s bones stuck in the water. We kept pumping and then saw the cinder blocks and bobwire,” she said.
Ms. Goodwin then called Butler County coroner Jim Akers, who rushed to the crime scene and stepped into the mud to help Gage retrieve the bones. It only took five hours to find the rest, she said.
“When I messaged Akers on Saturday, he was shocked and was on the scene within 10 minutes,” Ms Goodwin said.
Ms Goodwin said it was “a sad day and also a day of relief”. A day when she’d waited seven long years of unanswered pleas and phone calls to Butler County Sheriff’s Mark Dobbs.
The excuses for why the department could not retrieve the remains were varied, Ms Goodwin said.
“We were told there were no more remains in that pond because animals carried them to TSTIME dens,” she said. TSTIME. “The last time I spoke to Mark Dobbs was on August 29, 2021. I’ve called and called and he’s never in the office, they say.”
Ms Goodwin said that after several messages sent to Mr Dobb’s Facebook account, she was blocked from sending more. TSTIME’s requests for comment to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office have yet to be answered.
“Nothing happened, then a day before Veterans Day last year they went pumping for four hours and told us they would be back in the morning and never showed up,” Ms Goodwin said.
The sheriff’s office said they did not return to pump out the pond because they did not have the necessary equipment to retrieve it. People reported first.
“The highways department has all the equipment they need and use [to recover remains.] I called the main character and he said he didn’t talk to Mark Dobbs. They said everything [the sheriff] all you have to do is get an order and it will be done,” claimed Ms. Goodwin.
“Then and during the so-called trial on August 9, 2021, I was promised that we will have our son’s remains within two weeks if we agree to the plea agreement [the killers took].”
Two people were charged with murdering Edward, his once close friends Ricky Hurt and Eldred Smit. Their charges were downgraded to first-degree murder and they were sentenced to 18 and 12 years in prison, KWOC reports.
Determined to close a painful chapter in her life and bring peace to her son’s soul, Mrs. Goodwin and her husband rented the pumping equipment they needed to empty the pond, which was significantly smaller after it was first emptied by the authorities in 2017.
“I couldn’t bury him until I had everything I could find. Forty percent was not enough. And I couldn’t live to know where the rest was when I did because of the findings in 2017,” Ms. Goodwin said. TSTIME.
Ms. Goodwin said no one from the Butler County Sheriff’s Office has contacted her to apologize for the delay in locating the rest of Edward’s remains.
“I haven’t heard from anyone except the coroner, who wasn’t the coroner at the time.
On Friday, Mrs. Goodwin received all of Edward’s remains from the funeral home.
While she’s not ready to bury her son yet, Ms. Goodwin said, she’s relieved to be able to shut down her husband and grandson.