Edward Goodwin: Murdered man's mother and son drained pond to find his remains 7 years after he went missing

Connie Goodwin rented a sump pump to drain a pond to uncover her son's remains after authorities fail to do it themselves

Edward Goodwin: Murdered man's mother and son drained pond to find his remains 7 years after he went missing
Edward Goodwin (R) went missing in 2015 and his remains were found by his mother and son after seven years (Facebook/ Connie Goodwin, Edward Acie Goodwin)
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POPLAR BLUFF, MISSOURI: Having waited for seven years for authorities to find the rest of her murdered son's remains, a mother from Missouri decided to take matters into her own hands. Connie Goodwin's 32-year-old son Edward Goodwin went missing in the summer of 2015. Later, it was discovered that he had been murdered and his body was dumped in a small lake in Poplar Bluff.

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In 2017, the Butler County Sheriff's Department drained most of the water and found partial remains which was enough evidence to charge the two suspects arrested the same year. Both pleaded guilty in 2021. However, Connie could not rest until she found the rest of her son's remains. When Edward when missing, his own son was 15 years old. Now, a 22-year-old Gage Goodwin helped his grandmother, wading through knee-deep mud and water to pick out what was left of his father'e remains.

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"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," said Connie to People. After years of waiting for the authorities to keep their promise, she, along with her husband and grandson rented a sump pump to drain the rest of the small pond last weekend, on Saturday, September 17. 

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Back in 2015, when Edward first went missing, she did everything - from holding rallies to putting up billboards across town, urging the local authorities to find her son. A semblance of hope and chance for justice came two years later when the Butler County Sheriff's Department uncovered around 40 percent of Edward's skeletal remains from the lake. While this was enough evidence to charge the two men who killed Edward, the authorities vowed to find the rest of his body too.

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Connie said, "They promised they were going to go back, even in the newspaper they said they were going to go back, but they never did," adding, "I called them about every other day trying to find out when they were going to do it." According to County Sheriff Mark Dobbs, they had returned to the pond in the fall of 2021 but lacked the equipment required to drain the rest of the water. 

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Gage, 22, picks out his father's bones from knee-deep mud and water along with Coroner Akers (Facebook/ Connie Goodwin)
Gage, 22, picks out his father's bones from knee-deep mud and water along with Coroner Akers (Facebook/ Connie Goodwin)

Beginning their endeavor at 8.30 am on a Saturday morning, Connie said they pumped out the water for two hours before they saw "two bones sticking up." Soon, they uncovered the other things - "concrete blocks and then barbed wire and more bones." These had been used by the killers to sink Edward's body to the bottom of the lake. 

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Cinderblocks and barbed wire were found with the bones (Facebook/Connie Goodwin)
Cinderblocks and barbed wire were found with the bones (Facebook/Connie Goodwin)

Following their discovery, they called Butler County Coroner Jim Akers. In the video posted by Connie, Akers can be seen knee-deep in the sludge, searching and digging out the bones by hand. "The mud was two to three feet deep, very thick, and infested with wildlife," he told People. Dental records confirmed that the skeletal remains were Edward's. 

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Coroner Akers, Edward's son Gage and mother Connie at the lake (Facebook/Connie Goodwin)
Coroner Akers, Edward's son Gage and mother Connie at the lake (Facebook/Connie Goodwin)

For the family who has been grieving for the last seven years, the moment was heart-wrenchingly tragic. Edward's parents and son can now finally give him the proper burial they longed for and put him to rest.

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