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Family, state police honor fallen trooper

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Johnny Edrington II was killed in action Dec. 20, 1988

By Calen McKinney

In pressed uniforms, the officers stand at attention. They are there to remember one of their own.

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After nearly 24 years since he was killed in the line of duty, Kentucky State Police Trooper Johnny Edrington II hasn’t been forgotten. And the case to catch his killer is still alive.

Those passing by Brookside Cemetery on Tuesday afternoon saw a gathering of law enforcement officers from Kentucky State Police, Campbellsville Police and Taylor County Sheriff’s Office. They were there to remember Edrington, who was killed in the line of duty on Dec. 20, 1988. Though Edrington’s murder remains unsolved, it is not considered a cold case. KSP Public Affairs Officer Billy Gregory began the service with a prayer for the safety of all law enforcement.

Gregory said the service is organized each year to remember Edrington’s sacrifice, and the sacrifice of his family and friends.

“Colors are present, wreaths are laid and prayers are prayed,” he said.

“Remember the sacrifice made for us. This ceremony is to honor Johnny, who gave all.”

Gregory presented Edrington’s daughter, Johnna Callie Edrington, with a flag that was flown over the state capital on May 10 in her father’s honor.

Callie never met her father. Edrington’s widow, Diane Chandler, was pregnant when Edrington was killed.

In her first interview since her father’s death, Callie said after the ceremony that she enjoys coming to the annual service in her father’s honor to learn more about him from those who knew him best.

“I have a strong support system,” she said. “People tell me I’m just like him.”

Barbara Curtis, Edrington’s sister, told media after the service that she believes in the KSP, and that someday her brother’s killer will be caught. Gregory said there has been some new information gathered about Edrington’s death in the past few years.

“We’re not flying blind,” he said.

Next year will mark the 25th anniversary of Edrington’s death. Gregory said KSP is planning a special ceremony to mark the occasion.

Anyone with information about Edrington’s death is asked to contact local police at 465-4122 or the Kentucky State Police at (800) 222-5555.