A Missouri mother will finally be able to put her son to rest after she drains the pond where his murdered body was dumped seven years ago.
Connie Goodwin and her grandson Gage Goodwin found the remains of Edward Goodwin, Gage’s father, on Saturday at the bottom of a pond in Poplar Bluff, local publication Riverfront Times reports.
The partial remains of Edward Goodwin have been under the murky waters since he was murdered by two former friends in the summer of 2015.
His killers Eldred Smith and Ricky Hurt — each serving their sentences for the murder — tied cinder blocks to the 32-year-old’s body and threw it into the unnamed pond off County Road 572, according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Department.
The motive was an alleged failed drug deal that sparked resentment between the parties, the Daily American Republic reported at the time.
Two years after the murder, in November 2017, the sheriff deflated part of the pound and discovered partial remains that they could identify as Edward Goodwin’s.
Investigators found a pelvis and femurs, which was enough to put Smith and Hurt on trial for murder.
Connie Goodwin, 57, said the sheriff’s department had promised they would come back and finish the job to pick up the rest of her son, but years went by with new excuses each time, she told the Riverfront Times.
“There was always a reason. Either because of other crimes going on or because of the weather,” she said.
Last fall, sheriff deputies returned to the pond to continue draining water, but were unable to remove enough water to locate the rest of Edward Goodwin.
Over the weekend, Connie and Gage Goodwin — unable to get closure knowing his remains were still in the pond — decided to continue the recovery effort on their own.
They rented a submersible pump and started pumping water from the pond — which had shrunk exponentially in size from previous efforts.
After two hours, they saw what looked like bones sticking out of the mud and called the local coroner.
Gage Goodwin, who was 15 when his father was murdered, ran to the center of the muddy swamp to collect his father’s remains.
“Before you know it, my grandson, he’s tall and slender, he was running through that mud,” said Connie Goodwin. “It came to his knees.”
Now 22-year-old Butler County Coroner Jim Akers worked to carefully remove the skeletal remains from the mud and placed them in a kayak to return them safely to shore.
The discovery was bittersweet, but helped to shut the family down somewhat.
“It was a sad day. It was also a joyous day because we were able to take our son home,” said Connie Goodwin.
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