By MARK PHILLIPS
The Sentinel-Record 3-2-1977
Representatives of the Arkansas State Police will be meeting with the Hot Spring County prosecuting attorney next Tuesday to discuss the current investigation into the death of Garland County Sheriff’s Deputy Linda Edwards.
In separate interviews, Lt. Ken McFerran of Little Rock and Sgt. Mike Fletcher of Hot Springs said they would be meeting with Hot Spring County Prosecuting Attorney John Cole to report on the status of the investigation which began last August when Ms. Edwards was discovered to be missing.
McFerran said the meeting would determine whether further investigation would be necessary noting that state investigators will remain on the case until Cole is satisfied with the findings.
With a half-dozen or so interviews yet to be made, McFerran said no evidence has been uncovered to indicate the deputy’s death occurred in Garland County.
The investigation has involved a large number of interviews with individuals who knew or thought they knew Ms. Edwards, according to McFerran.
Searches were also made of the area in which Ms. Edwards’ remains were found on Jack Mountain, he said, adding that “no earth shattering evidence” has been discovered so far.
At next Tuesday’s meeting, McFerran said the case would be handed over to Cole, “if everything goes okay,” however, he said there was no way to speculate on when or if an arrest will be made.
At this point, McFerran said, only about a half-dozen interviews need to be held to check out new leads. Some of those interviews cannot be held until those to be interviewed return to the state.
Fletcher also said additional interviews were needed, and he said an active investigation is continuing with authorities pursing every lead they get.
Pointing out that a lot of work remains to be completed, Fletcher said he has “almost daily contact with John Cole” to keep him up to date.
Fletcher would not, however, speculate on the amount of time still needed to complete the investigation.
Acknowledging that the public is anxious to know the result of the investigation. Fletcher said he and other investigators cannot afford to act too quickly, since all available evidence must be obtained.
For that reason he said he was uncertain as to the results of next Tuesday’s meeting with Cole.
Cole was unavailable both during the day and Tuesday night for comment on the investigation and possible legal action to be taken.
According to McFerran, Cole will make the final decision on whether to file charges against anyone in connection with Ms. Edwards’ death.