CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Garfield County cold case homicide is brought to a close

Jun 29, 2022, 7:00 PM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 11:31 am
Lina Reyes Geddes, of Youngstown, Ohio, has been identified as the victim in a 1998 homicide cold c...
Lina Reyes Geddes, of Youngstown, Ohio, has been identified as the victim in a 1998 homicide cold case in Garfield County. Authorities say they linked DNA taken at the scene to her husband, Edward Geddes, who died in 2001. Photo credit: Utah Department of Public Safety.

GARFIELD COUNTY, Utah — A 24-year-old cold case homicide in Garfield County has been brought to a close, as announced Wednesday by authorities in Ohio and Utah.

On April 20, 1998, police say a woman’s body was found on the side of the road on Highway 276 near Maidenwater Spring in Garfield County, roughly 38 miles north of Lake Powell.

Garfield County cold case

Investigators at the time say the victim was between 37 and 45 years of age. Police say the victim’s body was covered in plastic bags, wrapped with duct tape, and tied with rope. 

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and the Utah State Bureau of Investigation worked every lead in the investigation. However, authorities were unable to identify the woman and the case went cold.

However, authorities caught a break in 2018, and the Utah State Bureau of Investigation released a photo of the woman in Utah in September.

In October of that year, authorities in Youngstown, Ohio released a photo of a missing person from 1998. 

Edward Reyes and Lina Reyes Geddes. Photo credit: Utah Department of Public Safety,

The two photos helped authorities connect the cases. And it eventually led to the identification of the victim. Through utilizing DNA from family members who traveled to Utah from Mexico, authorities were able to identify the victim as Lina Reyes Geddes of Youngstown.  

According to Agent Brian Davis, of the Utah State Bureau of Investigation, only two months passed between the 2008 release of the photo and the victim being identified. 

“As police officers, we get invested in these cases,” Davis said. “This one actually became kind of personal. We felt a connection with the victim and the family.”

DNA testing

Through four years of testing the DNA on the rope, Davis says authorities were able to pinpoint the suspect.

“These things take time, and they take money, and they take effort,” he said.

After the four years of DNA testing, Davis says authorities were able to determine Edward Geddes, the victim’s husband, was involved in the crime.

“He’s the only one believed to be involved in her death,” Davis said. 

However, Edward Geddes passed away in 2001.

“If Edward Geddes were still alive, we’d pursue charges of homicide in connection to her death against him,” Davis said.

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Garfield County cold case homicide is brought to a close