Officials solve Garfield County cold case 24 years after body found; DNA identified victim, killer, officials say

Linda Reyes Geddes is picture alone and with husband Edward Geddes, believed to be her murderer. Photos: Utah Department of Public Safety

GARFIELD COUNTY, Utah, June 29, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — DNA evidence has helped solve a cold case 24 years after a woman’s body was found along near Maidenwater Spring in Garfield County.

The victim was found on April 20, 1998, covered with plastic bags, wrapped in duct tape, tied with rope, and placed inside a sleeping bag before being wrapped in a carpet.

“Over the next two decades, investigators continued to work the cold case with little success,” says a statement shared by the Utah Department of Safety. “All of that changed in 2018 when Agents with the Utah State Bureau of Investigation caught a break after they released a photo of the female to the public. Almost simultaneous to their release, the Youngstown, Ohio police department also released a photo in connection with a missing person’s case that dated back to April 1998. Those two pictures helped connect these cases and ultimately led to the victim’s identification.

“Utilizing DNA from family who traveled to Utah from San Luis Potosi, Mexico, a                  gents positively confirmed her identity. The woman was identified as Lina Reyes Geddes of Youngstown, Ohio.”

The ID produced leads, and new information and more DNA testing “ultimately identified the person responsible for her death,” the statement says. “After 24 years, this case has finally reached a conclusion that will bring closure to the family of Lina Reyes Geddes.”

Among those questioned was the victim’s husband, Edward Geddes, who was one of several suspects. Officials announced on Wednesday that DNA on the ropes used to bind the woman was later traced to Edward Geddes, now deceased.

DNA provided by the suspect’s family members confirmed the link, police announced at a news conference featuring Sgt. Cameron Roden, Utah Highway Patrol; Agent Brian Davis, Utah State Bureau of Investigation; and Detective David Sweeney, Youngstown, Ohio Police Department.

Officials said that although Geddes can’t be prosecuted, they home the information will bring closure to the family of the victim.

Utah DPS also shared videos made years ago, seeking information on the woman’s identity, and a 1998 interview with Edward Geddes, shared below.

Edward Geddes interview:


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