The Sentinel-Record 9-23-1976
A reward fund of at least $1,000 is being established to aid in the investigation of the disappearance of Garland County Deputy Sheriff Linda Edwards.
Mrs. Edwards, 29, disappeared on the night of Saturday, Aug. 21. Her car was found parked in a rural lake area off Arkansas 290, southeast of Hot Springs.
While authorities have found no evidence of foul play, they fear that Mrs. Edwards has been murdered, according to her brother, Roy Ockert, Jr., who announced the establishment of the reward fund.
Ockert, who is managing editor of the Batesville Daily Guard and Weekly Record, said the reward will be paid to any individual or organization providing information that leads to Mrs. Edwards’ whereabouts.
“The Arkansas State Police and Garland County Sheriff’s office have made every possible effort to find my sister, and they are continuing to do so,” Ockert said, “but we hope this reward fund will encourage others to help us search for her or to provide information that might aid in the investigation.”
Mrs. Edwards reportedly left her children with a babysitter about 11 o’clock on the night of Aug. 21. Authorities indicate they have interviewed persons who saw her as late as midnight or 1 a.m. the next morning, Ockert said, and her car was seen in the spot it was eventually recovered as early as 1:30 a.m.
Ockert said the reward fund, if not used for that purpose within a reasonable time, will be converted to a trust fund for Mrs. Edwards children.
He asked that anyone with information about Mrs. Edwards immediately contact Garland County Sheriff Leon Barlow at 321-2683 or State Police Sgt. Mike Fletcher at 262-1814. Sources will remain confidential.
Contributions to the fund can be made through Barlow or mailed to the Linda Edwards Reward Fund, Arkansas Bank and Trust Co., Hot Springs, ARK, 71901.
Mrs. Edwards, who had been a radio dispatcher for the sheriff’s office since January, was described as being about 5’6″, 110-120 pounds, hazel eyes and blonde hair. She was last seen wearing a black sweater and beige pants.