PHOTO -- JoeEd Edwards, the Shamrock Motel porter missing since July 1964
by Stanley Nelson - posted Thursday, July 24th, 2008 @ 10:09 am
Forty-four years ago this July, 25-year-old Joe "JoeEd" Edwards was last seen at his job as a porter and handyman at the Shamrock Motel in Vidalia.
What's also been just as hard to find has been a photograph of Edwards. Family members say that after his disappearance, sheriff's deputies confiscated photos of Edwards from the home of his grandparents, Jake and Mary King, who lived on Hwy. 900 between Clayton and the Lake St. John road.
The say photographs were also taken from the home of Edwards' girlfriend Olga "Algueree" Taylor, who lived in Clayton at the time.
None were returned.
Family members say the Kings were warned by deputies not to talk to the FBI. Agents showed up at the Kings' home one day asking for dental records of Edwards and other pertinent information.
But Edwards' sister and brother-in-law, Julia and Charles Dobbins of Bridge City, La., had kept stored away at their home for the past years a negative of Edwards. Recently rediscovered and provided to The Sentinel, a photograph was made from the negative and appears on this page today.
Edwards' early childhood was spent in the Sibley community in Adams County. As a child, he was accidentally scalded when he ran beneath a relative who was pouring boiling water from a pot of salted meat.
A short time later, he went to live with the Kings in Concordia, and attended school at Sevier-Rosenwald in Ferriday. He lived with the Kings until his disappearance in 1964.
Relatives recall that as a young man Edwards suffered third degree burns in an accident and was hospitalized in Natchez for a short time.