LAKELAND, Fla. (WTSP) -- It's been 81 years since a law enforcement officer in Mulberry died in the line of duty. He was never honored on the Polk County fallen officers’ memorial—until Thursday.
A friend of Grady Judd's told the sheriff Constable Myrle Whidden’s name was missing from it.
“He kept saying a deputy was killed, a deputy was killed,” Judd said. “We kept saying, no a deputy's not killed, and Bob said, ‘I know he was, because I went to school with his daughter.’”
Judd is referring to Bob Moore.
“They went back after that meeting and researched it, and they couldn't find anything,” Morre said.
But he was persistent, and encouraged the Sheriff’s Office to do some more digging. They eventually uncovered an old family photo, and newspaper articles describing the day a suspect attacked Whidden in 1936.
Whidden was shot in his shoulder and in his back. They were able to get him to the hospital, but he died two days later, on his 42nd birthday.
Fast forward to Thursday. Robin Harrell, Whidden’s granddaughter, got to place a rose on a marker with his name on it.
“It really brought my grandfather home to us, so that was quite amazing,” she said.
Whidden served in law enforcement for 17 years, and he was also a World War I veteran.