DNA Helped Solve Cold Case Murder Of Woman Found Wrapped In Carpet On The Side Of The Road
The body of Lina Reyes Geddes, 37, was found along a highway near Maidenwater Spring in Utah’s Garfield County on April 20, 1998. Her murder remained unsolved until June 2022.
Police have identified the killer of Lina Reyes Geddes, a 37-year-old woman who was found dead nearly 25 years ago. On April 20, 1998, her body was found wrapped in a sleeping bag inside a carpet along a highway near Maidenwater Spring in Utah’s Garfield County.
In June 2022, DNA determined that her husband, Edward Geddes, was responsible for her murder. He died by suicide in 2001 around three years after he killed her.
Investigators were able to extract DNA from the rope that bound Lina by utilizing a specialized vacuum. Because those advances in DNA testing allowed investigators to compare and match the killer’s identity with the DNA of two living family members, the Utah Department of Public Safety now considers the cold case murder solved.
Edward Geddes murdered his wife by shooting her in the head. He then wrapped her in plastic bags and duct tape, bound her body with a rope tied in intricate knots, and then put her in a sleeping bag, which he rolled into a carpet.
Geddes also cut off the ends of her thumbs and fingers at a right angle to seemingly remove fingerprints and make it harder to identify her, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. It’s also believed that he dumped his wife’s body in Utah, a state where neither of them had any connections, to make it harder to identify her. These attempts were initially successful as she was only known as the “Maidenwater victim” for 20 years until she was finally identified in 2018.
Lina Reyes Geddes met Edward only two years before he murdered her. After the two met in New Mexico in 1996, they married and moved to Ohio six months later. She was planning to return to Mexico to visit her family when Edward killed her.
During a news conference, Brian Davis with the Utah State Bureau of Investigation spoke about providing some comfort to Lina’s family in solving the case. He said that Lina’s sister was just 11 years old when she was murdered, so the child grew up not knowing what happened to her. He said, “To have this answered finally after 24 years is incredible.” He also added that getting to solve the case was worth the difficulties that come with working in law enforcement.