Westminster officials stop draining pond at Westin Hotel during search for John Luke Edwards

Edwards disappared after weekend holiday party

WESTMINSTER, Colo. - Westminster officials have suspended draining a pond at the Westin Hotel Thursday during a search for a man missing since Sunday.

John Luke Edwards, 36, who goes by Luke, was last seen leaving a holiday party about 3 a.m. Sunday 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, said Westminster police spokesman Investigator Trevor Materasso. Edwards did not show up at his construction job on Monday.

City workers had been draining the 22-foot-deep pond for about an hour Thursday when they stopped early in the afternoon.

Materasso said that while city officials had discussed the option of draining the pond during a strategy session Wednesday, there was a misunderstanding and police had not asked parks workers to drain the pond.

Fire Department officials want to review sonar videotape of the pond they recorded Wednesday as divers searched the frigid waters, Materasso said. Divers also searched a second pond at nearby City Park. 

Meanwhile, police are reviewing surveillance video taken in the area and identifying and contacting people who attended the party.

At this point, Materasso said police have found nothing that leads them to be suspicious or suspect foul play.

Edwards' step-dad, Duane Fischer, and his two brothers were watching the draining of the pond.

Fischer told 7NEWS the family asked investigators to drain the pond to make certain Luke was not there.

Fischer said his family wasn't too worried Sunday, but started to be concerned when he hadn't responded to calls or text messages on Monday.

"He's got friends that he goes and stays with, his girlfriend periodically, so we don't expect him home. He's 36 years old, he's a grown man, but he usually keeps in touch," Fischer said.

"It is very difficult to be here," Fischer said, looking out on the pond Thursday  "You hope for the best but then you have to expect the worse, and we just want to know that he's OK."

Edwards has three siblings and two children.

Anxious family members describe Edwards as a devoted family man who stays in contact with loved ones.

"You can't deal with this," said Luke's kid brother, Andrew Edwards, who drove from his Grand Junction home to help find his brother.

"You can't put it into words," Andrew Edwards said, adding that he's fearful about what might have happened to Luke.

"He's a great guy. He loves his kids, he loves his family," the brother said.

Another brother, Robert Edwards, said:"There's no rhyme or reason to anything. He wouldn't just up and disappear. He wouldn't walk away from his kids."


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