Merced Sun Star
Wednesday, March 29, 1939
 
Murder Theory Is Studied By Henderson
 
Merced Grand Jury May Investigate Mysterious Blaze
 
 The possibility Mrs. Edna Eberheardt was murdered was disclosed today as District Attorney Allen Henderson and Undersheriff Merrill M. Morse began an investigation on the case. The 22 year-old Livingston woman was burned to death in a cafe fire in Stevinson early Tuesday.
 
 Henderson said the case may be investigated by the grand jury. He will present the circumstances of the fire and death to the jury today, he said.
 
 Witnesses Are Called
Henderson said he had issued subpenas for various witnesses, several of them believed to be male companions of the singer, to appear before the grand jury for questioning.
 The district attorney refused to disclose how many witnesses had been summoned or their names.
 Morse declared the woman may have been murdered and the building fired to make it appear an accident. She was lying within a few feet of the door before the fire, he said. She had either fainted when she discovered the blaze, Morse pointed out. Otherwise she could have escaped easily.
 
 Fire Cause Unknown
The building was completely destroyed by the fire and Mrs. Eberheardt's body burned beyond recognition. No cause for the fire was apparent. Morse said the oil stove in the cafe showed no signs of having exploded. The stove had seemed the only possible place of origin.
 Morse stated the young waitress might have been killed in an argument with a suitor. Another possibility was a degenerate entered the cafe when he saw her asleep on a couch. Morse said.
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Merced Sun Star
Thursday, March 30, 1939
 
Fire Mystery Still Unsolved After Inquiry
 
 Grand Jury Quizzes Witnesses In Probe Of Possible Murder
 
 The cause of the death of a 22 year-old Livingston woman remained as much of a mystery today as it was Tuesday morning when her body was taken from the ruins of a Stevinson cafe where she was employed as a waitress. A grand jury investigation Wednesday was able to shed no light on the tragedy.
 
 The woman was Mrs. Edna Irene Eberhardt Myers. She had been using the name Eberhardt which caused confusion in identifying her.
 
Rites Are Held
 
 Meanwhile funeral services were held today in the Ivers and Alcorn chapel in Merced. The Rev. Willing Smith conducted the rites, and burial was in Winton cemetery.
 
 District Attorney Allen A. Henderson called a quartet of witnesses at the hearing yesterday. He disclosed they were Deputy Coroner A. C. Stevens Jr., of Hilmar, Cecil Newsome, Stevinson resident who was one of the first to reach the blazing building, and Mr. and Mrs. Richard Vandenberg of Stevinson, acquaintances of the dead woman.
 
Still Investigating
 
At the conclusion of the hearing Henderson said, the enquiry had been continued indefinitely He said however, his office was still investigating the blaze. At first Merced county officials believed the case to be an accident but later a possible torch murder theory was injected into it.
 
Body In Building
 
 He charred body was found in the ruins of the building after an early morning fire of unknown origin. At first officials thought the body was near a door, but a recheck of the floor plans of the Prairie Schooner cafe indicated the body was in the center of the building.
 
 It was pointed out by officials apparently no attempt to escape had been made by her.
 
 Surviving her are her husband, William Robert Myers of Stockton, a daughter, Helen Jane; her parents, Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Lauer, all of Livingston; three brothers, Emmett Palmer, Livingston, Eugene Palmer, San Francisco, and Earl Palmer, Texas; and a sister, Elizabeth Lauer, Livingston.

Transcribed by: Alma