The husband of a murdered Ohio woman who was found rolled into a carpet almost 25 years ago was named the killer by Utah authorities Wednesday, putting an end to the 1998 cold case.
Using advanced DNA technology, state police determined that Lina Reyes-Geddes was killed by now-deceased husband Edward Geddes. Reyes-Geddes was found on the side of a Utah road near Maidenwater Spring by a passerby.
She had been covered in plastic bags, wrapped in duct tape, tied with a rope and then thrown into a sleeping bag before she was wrapped in carpet, authorities said.
Utah State Bureau of Investigation Agent Brian Davis told The Post after several failed attempts in the past, authorities were able to pull DNA from the rope using a specialized vacuum.
Because Geddes killed himself in 2001 and was cremated, police needed to get DNA from two relatives to compare the DNA on the rope, Davis said, which brought back a positive match for Geddes.
Another set of male DNA was found on the rope, but that person was later ruled out, Davis said.
“There’s a lot of ups and downs in law enforcement, but I would put this case at the top of just making you feel good,” Davis, a 23-year veteran, said. “… The help that literally helps people and changes lives it’s very fulfilling.
“At least there’s some closures, at least there’s answers.”
After the victim was found in April 1998, her remains were not identified by the local sheriff’s department and the case went cold, according to the Utah Department of Public Safety. She was not reported missing by her husband, but by an aunt of hers who lived in Mexico five months after she was last seen alive, Davis said.
The case went cold until 2018 when Utah and Ohio authorities both released photos of Reyes-Geddes around the same time. The Utah photo was of the Jane Doe found and the Ohio photo stemmed from a missing person’s case, which led the two agencies to link up.
The victim’s sister traveled from Mexico to provide a DNA sample and police were able to confirm Reyes-Geddes was the Jane Doe, investigators said.
The sister visited her grave in Utah a few years ago.
“I felt like for 20 years no one would listen to me. But now I know what happened,” said Lucero, Lina’s sister, in a 2019 Utah state police press release. “I’m here to bring her home, not like I expected, but I’m bringing her back home with me.”
“She was very appreciative and thankful, even back in 2018 just from the ID, she was very grateful and humble for what had been done,” Davis said. “It wasn’t what they’d hope for and expected but at least they knew, at least they knew where she was, they knew that they had her remains back.”
Geddes claimed when he was interviewed by police in 1998 that his wife was traveling from Ohio to Texas and then to Mexico, but Davis believes that Reyes-Geddes was killed in Ohio and then transported to Utah.
He’s unsure why Geddes traveled more than 1,800 miles to dump the body. Prior to that DNA piece, there was circumstantial evidence that pointed to Geddes as the killer, Davis said.