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Missing Brenda Jo Howell
Brenda, circa 1956; Mack Ray Edwards
Missing Since 08/06/1956
Los Angeles County, California
Classification Endangered Missing
Date of Birth Used 08/19/1943 (77)
Age 12 years old
Height and Weight 4'9, 95 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes.
Edwards directed investigators to a site where he said he had disposed of their bodies, but a search of the area turned up no signs of any remains. Edwards was never charged in connection with any other cases due to lack of evidence. He died by suicide on death row in 1971. A photograph of Edwards is posted with this case summary. Brenda was his sister-in-law and Donald was one of his neighbors.
At the time of her disappearance, Brenda was visiting her married sister who lived in the 5700 block of Rockdale Avenue in Azusa, California. She normally resided in Fort Bragg, California. Foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.
Brenda's case was reopened in 2007 as authorities renewed the search for the bodies of Edwards's victims. He was employed as a heavy equipment operator in the 1950s and 1960s, and helped construct many highways across the state of California. Investigators believe he may have buried the children's remains under the highways.
Investigating Agency / Department
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department