Mom tormented by daughter's unsolved killing

2014-03-03T00:00:00Z 2014-03-03T18:29:07Z Mom tormented by daughter's unsolved killingStan Maddux Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 03, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Not a day goes by that Karen Egolf doesn't think about her young daughter and who got away with her slaying 27 years ago.

The LaPorte woman is keeping her fingers crossed that a harder look now being given to the case will at last relieve her torment.

"Somebody took my baby and murdered her, and that person is still out there and probably doesn't have any guilt about it," Egolf said.

Linda Weldy was just 10 when she disappeared Feb. 24, 1987.

Her strangled body was recovered about three weeks later on an abandoned railroad right of way near County Road 500 South in the Kingsbury area when spotted by a farmer.

LaPorte County Sheriff's Detective Pat Cicero said people of interest have developed over the years. Through the years, others have either been added or taken off a list of possible suspects, but nothing concrete has ever turned up to make an arrest.

Evidence previously tested along with new evidence never tested before will be turned over to Indiana State Police for laboratory analysis, hoping that better technology can produce DNA leading straight to the killer.

"We're hoping the evidence that we're going to resubmit will provide us with something more," Cicero said.

Cicero said what happened to Weldy after she got off the school bus in front of her home on McClung Road is not known.

No one who may have seen her after she stepped down from the bus has ever been identified.

Egolf, now 56, said she was working at a factory in Walkerton when her daughter got off the bus.

It wasn't until 11:30 that night when her shift ended that she was notified on her CB radio in her car that Linda had not returned.

Her son, William, got home from Boston Middle School on a different bus about 30 minutes before Linda was due to arrive from Crichfield Elementary School, Egolf said.

The home was several hundred feet off the road and at such an angle from the stop, though, school buses could not be seen from the family's small bungalow, adding to the mystery of what transpired.

Egolf said her home did not have a telephone and no number was left for anyone to be able to reach her at work.

However, there was a CB radio at the residence, which was used by her boyfriend to contact her when she returned to her vehicle after clocking out.

"He said Linda did not come home," Egolf said.

Egolf said she went straight from work to the police to report her daughter missing.

Nobody went to the authorities before she left work because it was just assumed at home that Linda went off to play or spend the night with a friend, she said.

Cicero said the evidence collected from the original investigation has been well preserved, creating good potential for the case to be solved.

Investigators are hoping laboratory results combined with someone who might know something about her disappearance and death getting in touch with law enforcement will close the books once and for all.

Egolf said her daughter loved to watch comedy shows on TV and described her as "funny," "happy go lucky" and "always willing to help somebody out."

She said dealing with the loss and especially not knowing who was responsible hasn't really gotten much easier.

"I miss my daughter so bad. She was my only daughter. To anybody else who has lost their child in such a horrible manner my heart hurts for them also," Egolf said.

Egolf said her grandmother, Edna Dunmirer, died in 2012 at age 99 and her wish to have Linda's ashes that Karen kept at home buried with her at a cemetery in Elkhart was granted.

Cicero said investigators are still trying to decide which pieces of evidence to submit but once they do the results should be known in less than two months.

Anyone who might have information is asked to contact LaPorte County Sheriffi's Department at (219) 326-7700.

"The public is our best resource at times and people will hopefully come forward," Cicero said.

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