Grand jury passes on bookkeeper who tried to disappear

HAZLEHURST — A Copiah County grand jury in January failed to indict Linda Gale Reed.

Reed’s attorney says if that happens again in June, he’ll petition the court to set her free.

“Don’t be surprised if this lady walks out,” attorney John Reeves told WLBT-TV in Jackson. “After the next grand jury meets it will have been eight months, and if they don’t indict her we’ll petition the court at that time to release her.”

Copiah County Sheriff Harold Jones disagrees.

“I think the case against her is strong enough, that there’s no way,” Jones told the television station.

Reed disappeared in late April of 2012 and her relatives feared she might be dead.

Reed, 65, was picked up in October of 2012 in Longview, Texas and was returned to Mississippi. She remains in jail but has not been formally indicted.

“She has not been formally charged. She is held under a suspicion of embezzlement, but there has been no formal indictment,” said Reeves.

Jones said Reed was working as a bookkeeper in Longview, Texas, using her real name and Social Security number. Jones said Reed is accused of embezzling $20,000 from her Mississippi employer, Moore’s Fabrications. She had worked for the company since 1999. He said an accountant found the money missing from petty cash fund.

Reed had lived in a mobile home behind the business in Gallman during work weeks and went home on weekends to Carrollton, about 125 miles to the north.

She was reported missing after she didn’t show up for work April 30. Her SUV was found later that day on a logging road not far off Interstate 55 near Crystal Springs, about 25 miles south of Jackson.

“(Reed’s children and husband) still haven’t gotten over it. And I don’t know that her husband, Mr. Lou, ever will,” Jones said.

Reeves said that she moved out of state is irrelevant to the case against her. But he said it’s what the public gets hung up on.

“She was living in Texas under her name, her social security number, openly working two jobs and had joined a church, was in a Sunday school class and all of that,” Reeves said.

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