Body found in Westminster pond where police were searching for missing Arvada man Luke Edwards

John Luke Edwards disappeared after holiday party

WESTMINSTER, Colo. - A body was found Monday evening in an icy pond at the Westminster Westin Hotel, where authorities have been searching for a missing Arvada man who disappeared after a holiday party on Dec. 9.

West Metro Dive Team members found the body below the surface of the man-made pond at about 4:30 p.m. -- just before sunset, police said.

Police wouldn't speculate on whether the body might be the missing man, John Luke Edwards. They said the Jefferson County Coroner's Office will identify the victim.

Police have been searching for the 36-year-old  Edwards, who goes by Luke, for eight days. The construction worker was last seen leaving his company's holiday party about 3 a.m. Dec. 9 at the hotel, located at 10600 Westminster Blvd. Police said Edwards was severely intoxicated as he left the party.

His belongings were found in the hotel and his personal vehicle was still in the parking lot, Westminster police said. Colleagues and family members became worried when Edwards did not show up for work on Monday.

Divers searching the pond Monday were wading in a shallow bottom area when a diver found the body in an area thick with 4-foot-deep reeds and partially covered by ice, 7NEWS photojournalist Eric Goody reported.

Last week, divers and fire crews in sonar-equipped boats spent several days searching the pond, which is more than 20-feet deep in some places.

Edwards' mother and other family members have kept an anguished vigil at the hotel during the days of searching.

"I see him when he walked out the door. I see him smiling and excited," said a tearful Theresa Fisher, describing the last time she saw her son. Choking up, the mother said, "I can't go there."

After two dive-team searches last week, officials told the family they were 90 percent sure Edwards' body wasn't in the pond. The mother urged them to keep searching until they were "100 percent" certain.

"This is where he last was, so I come here (every day) … and then every night I leave and he's still here," Fisher told with 7NEWS reporter Lindsey Sablan Monday.

Just hours after the interview, divers found the body.

In their intense search for Edwards, police said they have talked with nearly 60 people who attended the holiday party as well as people who were in and around the Westin on night of Dec. 8. Police have also reviewed 14 hours of video from surveillance cameras around the hotel.

 

 

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