Initial Edkin search lasted less than 10 days

NEW COLUMBIA — Less than 10 days after a New Columbia boy was reported missing, police called off their initial search for the boy, according to a 1986 article published in The Union County Journal.

An article on the disappearance of 2-year-old Corey Edkin appeared in the Thursday, Oct. 23, 1986, edition of the newspaper, a forerunner of The Standard-Journal.

On Sunday, Pennsylvania State Police Tpr. Brian Watkins issued a release stating he’s confident those responsible for Edkin’s disappearance will be brought to justice.

The release said Edkin’s mother, Debbie Mowery, placed her son in the bed at their New Columbia-area home in the early morning hours of Oct. 13, 1986, and then went to a convenience store.

The 1986 article said Edkin’s mother — identified in the article as Debbie Wise — drove to Time Market to purchase a pizza. An unidentified adult was in the home while she was out, the article said.

At the time of his disappearance, troopers said Edkin was wearing gray pajamas, had blond hair and blue eyes.

“Investigators who worked the case neither believe in the likelihood of Corey walking away from the residence nor that he was abducted by a third party,” troopers said, in their Sunday release.

The 1986 article, written by Jim Birt, said that Pennsylvania State Police at Milton on Monday, Oct. 20, 1986, announced that “there are no plans to continue to search in the New Columbia area” for Edkin “unless we come up with some other evidence.”

According to the article, troopers conducted interviews with those who may have had information regarding Edkin’s disappearance. Troopers planned to use a helicopter to conduct routine checks along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.

“Searchers focused on the railroad bridge at West Milton on Friday afternoon when specially trained tracking dogs indicated finding a human scent four times in seven passes through the area of two of the bridge pillars,” the article said.

Divers then searched the area that Friday and Saturday. The article said dogs, an infra-red sensing helicopter from Delaware and numerous volunteers from area fire departments were involved in the search.

“State police have interviewed family members and administered lie-detector tests, all with no results,” the article said.

Staff writer Kevin Mertz can be reached at 570-742-9671 or email

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