Missouri mom drains pond to find the remains of her son, who was killed in 2015

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By Carina Murphy

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A Missouri mom who has spent seven years searching for her missing son can finally lay him to rest.

Connie Goodwin's 32-year-old son, Edward Goodwin, vanished in the summer of 2015. It was only after renting a sump pump and draining a pond herself that the grieving mother discovered the last of her son's remains.

The Butler County Sheriff's Department had already uncovered around 40% of Edward's remains in the small lake in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, when they drained most of the water out of it in 2017.

Despite finding enough evidence to convict and sentence two men for her son's murder, Connie felt she could not find full closure until all of her son's remains had been found and properly laid to rest.

"They promised they were going to go back, even in the newspaper they said they were going to go back, but they never did," Connie tells People.

"I called them about every other day trying to find out when they were going to do it," she continued, adding: "I told them months ago that if they don't do it, I told them that one of these days, I'm going to do it myself."

In the end, that's just what Connie did. On Saturday (September 17), she was joined by her husband Ed and her grandson Gage at the water's edge. Together, the trio pumped out water until they began to see shapes emerging from the depths.

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Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Credit: roberto galan / Alamy

"We saw two bones sticking up, so we kept pumping and then the next thing you know we started seeing the concrete blocks and then barbed wire and more bones," Connie recalled. The blocks and wire were used to sink her son's body by his killers.

They then called the Butler County Coroner Jim Akers to the scene, where he waded into the muddy pond and began digging up the rest of the skeletal remains by hand.

"The mud was two to three feet deep, very thick, and infested with wildlife," Akers told People, adding that dental records had identified the remains as Edward's.

Connie now hopes to lay her son to rest properly, having uncovered all of his remains.

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Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Credit: roberto galan / Alamy

Back in 2017, two of Edward's former friends - Rickey Hurt and Eldrid Smith - were arrested and charged with his murder. Both pleaded guilty in 2021 and are now behind bars.

Featured Image Credit: Mike Voss / Alamy

Missouri mom drains pond to find the remains of her son, who was killed in 2015

vt-author-image

By Carina Murphy

Article saved!Article saved!

A Missouri mom who has spent seven years searching for her missing son can finally lay him to rest.

Connie Goodwin's 32-year-old son, Edward Goodwin, vanished in the summer of 2015. It was only after renting a sump pump and draining a pond herself that the grieving mother discovered the last of her son's remains.

The Butler County Sheriff's Department had already uncovered around 40% of Edward's remains in the small lake in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, when they drained most of the water out of it in 2017.

Despite finding enough evidence to convict and sentence two men for her son's murder, Connie felt she could not find full closure until all of her son's remains had been found and properly laid to rest.

"They promised they were going to go back, even in the newspaper they said they were going to go back, but they never did," Connie tells People.

"I called them about every other day trying to find out when they were going to do it," she continued, adding: "I told them months ago that if they don't do it, I told them that one of these days, I'm going to do it myself."

In the end, that's just what Connie did. On Saturday (September 17), she was joined by her husband Ed and her grandson Gage at the water's edge. Together, the trio pumped out water until they began to see shapes emerging from the depths.

wp-image-1263170249 size-full
Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Credit: roberto galan / Alamy

"We saw two bones sticking up, so we kept pumping and then the next thing you know we started seeing the concrete blocks and then barbed wire and more bones," Connie recalled. The blocks and wire were used to sink her son's body by his killers.

They then called the Butler County Coroner Jim Akers to the scene, where he waded into the muddy pond and began digging up the rest of the skeletal remains by hand.

"The mud was two to three feet deep, very thick, and infested with wildlife," Akers told People, adding that dental records had identified the remains as Edward's.

Connie now hopes to lay her son to rest properly, having uncovered all of his remains.

wp-image-1263170251 size-full
Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Credit: roberto galan / Alamy

Back in 2017, two of Edward's former friends - Rickey Hurt and Eldrid Smith - were arrested and charged with his murder. Both pleaded guilty in 2021 and are now behind bars.

Featured Image Credit: Mike Voss / Alamy