Clyde Edwin Hedrick: Accused of Killing the Woman Whose Corpse He Was Accused of Hiding Almost 30 Years Ago
Twenty-eight years after he was charged with tampering with a corpse, Clyde Edwin Hedrick has been charged with turning that person into a corpse in the first place.
The Galveston County Sheriff's Office, in connection with League City police and the FBI, announced the arrest of the 59-year-old San Leon man in the cold-case murder of Ellen Rae Beason. Hedrick had been questioned and cleared after Beason's body was found in 1985. According to a Galveston County Daily News article from the time, the medical examiner found no evidence of foul play in the death of the 30-year-old woman, who had been reported missing a year earlier, and Hedrick passed a lie-detector test. One of the reasons the ME was unable to find evidence of murder was that the ME's office had no X-ray at the time, and Beason's skull "was not completely cleaned," thus obscuring evidence of, um, blunt force trauma, according to Sheriff's spokesman Captain Barry Cook.
A lieutenant who retired from full-time duty and was working part time on cold cases had decided to focus on the Beason case, and figured a thorough autopsy was in order, so Beason's remains were exhumed, Cook said. The remains were examined by a forensic pathologist at the University of North Texas Health Science Center who observed a skull fracture that allegedly occurred at or around the time of death.
According to the 1985 article, Hedrick told police Beason drowned.
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The story states that Hedrick told police he had been at a League City club with Beason on July 29, 1984, and they subsequently "drove to a remote sandpit in Dickinson near Highway 3. At the sandpit, [Hedrick] remained in his truck while Ms. Beason went swimming. She was said to have 'accidentally drowned'...[Hedrick] tried to revive the woman, but his attempts failed."
That's when Hedrick allegedly "panicked" and did what anyone would do in such a situation: He tossed the body in his truck and then drove around, looking for a good dump site.
"He concealed the body near the Causeway...Human remains were found by police under a couch, in tall weeds off Old Galveston Road," according to the 1985 article.
Nothing sketchy there!
The Sheriff's official interviewed at the time said, "We administered a polygraph test and he passed it. We have no evidence of foul play...We'll close out the case."
Cook told us that Hedrick was convicted of tampering with a corpse, but we're having trouble confirming that. What we can tell, though, is that Hedrick went on to be convicted on charges of larceny, cocaine possession, making a terroristic threat and evading arrest.
Hedrick is being held in jail in lieu of $150,000 bond.
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