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23rd Sep 2022

Mum drains pond to uncover final remains of son who was murdered seven years ago

Steve Hopkins

Connie Goodwin refused to give up and took matters into her own hands

A woman in the US has gone to great lengths to uncover her son’s remains, draining an entire pond, seven years after he first went missing.

Connie Goodwin rented a sump pump last weekend to drain a Missouri pond with her husband, Ed, and grandson, in the hopes of recovering the last remains of Edward Goodwin who went missing age 32, from Poplar Bluff, in southwest Missouri in the summer of 2015. Edward, who let behind his son, Gage, who was 15 at the time, was killed by his friends, Eldrid Smith and Rickey Hurt who are currently serving time for his murder having pleaded guilty to murder in 2021.

For two years after her son’s disappearance, Connie searched high and low for her Edward, holding rallies and putting up billboards urging authorities to do more to find him.

In 2017, the Butler County Sheriff’s Department found partial remains of Edward – his pelvis and femurs – in a small lake in Poplar Bluff after draining most of the water during an investigation.

While the Sheriff’s Department found 40 per cent of Edward’s remains – enough to use as evidence against the men accused of his murder – Connie did not rest until all of her boy’s remains were recovered.

Butler County Coroner Jim Akers told the Riverfront Times: “They drained it down to where it was just within a few feet of being completely drained, but you have all the sediment, all the mud.”

Although the police department promised to drain it all the way, Connie, 57, claims they kept giving her excuses over the next five years as to why they hadn’t done it.

“There was always a reason. Either because of other crimes going on or the weather,” she said.

Officers did continue the work at the pond in 2021, but it wasn’t enough to recover the rest of Edward’s remains.

So, on September 17, Connie took matters into her own hands, working alongside Gage, who is now 22, and within two hours spotted what looked like bones.

Connie said: “The next thing you know, my grandson, he’s tall and slender-built, took off in a running stance through that mud. It was up to his knees.”

She then called the coroner, Jim Akers, who came to the scene. Once the remaining water was out of the pond, Akers, who was knee-deep in the mud, began digging the skeletal remains out by hand.

“The mud was two to three feet deep, very thick, and infested with wildlife,” Akers told PEOPLE. Dental records have since confirmed the remains are Edward’s.

Connie concluded: “It was a sad day. It was a joyful day, too, because we could bring our son home.”

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