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Missing woman now sought on embezzlement

A Copiah County woman who was last seen in late April remains missing and is now suspected of embezzling more than $20,000 from her employer, Copiah County Sheriff Harold Jones said Tuesday morning.

     Jones said the case involving Linda Gale Reed, 65, has been upgraded to an embezzlement investigation. Meanwhile, her husband continued to profess her innocence.

     At a press conference at the sheriff’s department in Gallman today, Jones said accountants working with Reed’s employer, Moore’s Fabrications and Machine, and FBI forensics accountants both have been looking into missing funds at the company.

     Jones said $20,200 was confirmed missing from the 2010 petty cash fund last week. He directed other questions about missing funds to the FBI and said other years are being investigated.

     “She had direct command and control over this fund,” Jones said.

     The sheriff had no comment on an earlier report that Reed may be in Mexico. He offered that authorities were told by a former husband that Reed liked Mexican things, but he quickly reiterated that authorities have no credible information on her location.

     “We don’t really have a clue where she is,” the sheriff said.

     Jones said the IRS may become involved, but he had no details on that possibility.

     “I would much rather tell her husband she’s wanted for embezzlement than I found her body, but it’s a bad situation either way,” Jones said.

     Several of Reed’s family members, including her husband, Lou, were in the sheriff’s department parking lot waiting for Jones’ press conference to conclude. They indicated her disappearance was the result of an abduction.

     “She didn’t run off with anyone’s money. She was taken from that trailer,” said Lou Reed, adding he would need to see proof of embezzlement by his wife. “They’ll have to show me in black and white.”

     Linda Reed was a bookkeeper for Moore Fabrications and Machine.

     On April 30, her gray Chevy Equinox was found on an overgrown logging road off I-55, south of Crystal Springs. Inside the vehicle investigators found her purse, money, glasses and cellphone.

     She lived in Carrollton but during the week worked and stayed in a mobile home on her employer’s property.

     The night she disappeared, co-workers said Reed went to Walmart and was never seen again.