The Sentinel-Record 1-16-1977
Are city officials dragging their feet in the investigation of the disappearance of Linda Edwards?
Probably not but Mrs. Edwards’ relatives and others think so and have thought so for some time.
There is no sure way of knowing, but Mayor Tom Ellsworth has stated that everything is be that can be done by his office and by the Civil Service Commission and by city police.
The primary concern of late has been a policeman who allegedly refused to take a lie detector test as part of the investigation. The Mayor says there is no way he can legally be forced to do so and the Mayor couldn’t afford to lie about this.
Therefore no criticism is in order.
But criticism may be justified in another area.
Relatives of Mrs. Edwards have complained for some time that they have received little or no cooperation from the Mayor’s office and from the Civil Service Commission when they requested information and other assistance.
Mrs. Edwards’ mother says she wrote letters that were never answered. Mrs. Edwards’ brother claimed shortly after the disappearance that he had asked for specific help from the Mayor but failed to receive it even though it was repeatedly promised.
Although they probably were not “guilty” of breaking any law, there appears to have been a closing of ranks by City Officials for self protection that looked like a cover up, and a simple lack of consideration for fragile family feeling.
As much as anything it’s probably been a public relations problem.
The lesson to be learned here, probably, is simply that the “public,” in this instance the Edwards’ relatives and others, do have a need to know what’s going on. And need to know what can legitimately be expected from the Mayor and the Commissioners. Perhaps too much has been expected, perhaps miracles have been called for. Perhaps the pleas for help were misdirected.
The disappearance of Linda Edwards is affecting the county intimately. But so far there is no proof that city officials are guilty of any major wrongdoing.