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Goodwin was a patient at Wadley Regional Medical Center in Texarkana, Arkansas on December 23, 1998. He called his mother from the facility after receiving a painkiller injection for abdominal discomfort. Goodwin said that he needed a ride back to his trailer in the Liberty/Eylau, Texas area. He called his mother again shortly afterwards and said that he planned to take a taxi. Authorities believe that Goodwin received a ride to the Ritz Motel on eastbound US Highway 67 and East Broad Street in Texarkana sometime afterwards. He phoned his mother at approximately 11:00 p.m. from the motel, but she was not able to answer the call. He has never been heard from again.
Goodwin's loved ones said that it is uncharacteristic of him to leave without warning. He had custody of his son every weekend and looked forward to their visits. Goodwin was treated for a painkiller addiction at a nursing facility earlier in 1998. He was released from the program four months before his disappearance. Goodwin was close with his family members and resided alone. He enjoys watching movies and football games.
Goodwin's family members got a tip that he may have been placed in a psychiatric facility, Living Hope Hospital of Texarkana, shortly after his disappearance, and was then possibly transferred to a state-operated facility in Arkansas. (Living Hope Hospital of Texarkana closed in 2008.) This information has not been confirmed and Goodwin has not been located. Authorities have not ruled out foul play as a possibility in his case.