Woman deputy missing almost two weeks: Public help is sought in search for Linda Edwards

By LARRY AULT
The Sentinel-Record   9-4-1976

The Garland County Sheriff’s Department and the Arkansas State Police Friday requested aid from the general public in the search for missing Deputy Sheriff Linda Edwards.

The search for the missing deputy sheriff has been underway for almost two weeks, however authorities have reported no new leads into the whereabouts of Deputy Edwards.

Mrs. Edwards worked as a radio operator at the Sheriff’s Department for six months.

Deputy Roy Smith said that the disappearance of Mrs. Edwards continues to baffle authorities, who have continued their search, despite the lack of tangible information regarding her disappearance.

“There have been a lot of rumors circulating about her, but most of them have not been true,” said Deputy Smith.

Sgt. Mike Fletcher of the Arkansas State Police said authorities have simply “run out of all leads.”

“There is nothing to indicate her whereabouts, whether she’s alive or dead,” said Fletcher.

Sgt. Fletcher said if any private citizen has information regarding Mrs. Edwards’ disappearance, that information and identities will be kept in strict confidence.

Deputy Smith said that both the Sheriff’s Department and the Arkansas State Police are appealing to the people of the state of Arkansas to assist in the search for Mrs. Edwards.

Deputy Smith said a special appeal for assistance is being directed at the residents of Hot Springs and Garland County.

Deputy Smith described Deputy Edwards as a white female, age 29, with blond hair, brown eyes, approximately 5 feet, 6 inches tall, and weighing 130 pounds.  Deputy Edwards had a “slender build,” said Smith.

Deputy Edwards was up approximately four-and-one-half   months pregnant and has two small children at home he said.  She was last seen at approximately 12:50 a.m. Aug. 22 in Hot Springs, authorities reported.

The missing deputy was last seen wearing a black knit top and light colored slacks.  Her car was found abandoned on Highway 290 southeast of Hot Springs on Aug. 22.

Deputy Smith said an intensive search and follow up of all investigative leads has so far failed to reveal the whereabouts of Deputy Edwards.

The Garland County Sheriff’s Department and the Arkansas State Police are asking that all citizens looked in the area around their homes for any clues which might lead to the whereabouts of the deputy.

Deputy Smith also urged that citizens check any abandoned houses, wells, or any place that could contain any of her personal belongings for any clues which might help the authorities locate her.

“If anyone should find Deputy Edwards or any evidence connected with her disappearance, please notify the Arkansas State Police, Troop K at Hot Springs, or the Garland County Sheriff’s Department immediately,” said Smith.

“Please do not disturb any articles that are found or the place that they are found in.  If there is any information that a person would like to give and remain confidential, contact Garland County Sheriff Leon Barlow or Sgt. Fletcher with the Arkansas State Police,” said Deputy Smith.

Deputy Smith said that the authorities believed that the public at large could be helpful in locating Mrs. Edwards, if she is in Garland County.  Deputy Smith said that since Garland County is physically such a large area, that it is almost impossible for the authorities to comb every area where the woman might be found.

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