Friends of missing Riverside woman Cheryl Coker gathered Wednesday evening to celebrate her 47th birthday.
Authorities have declared Coker’s October disappearance a homicide investigation, but her body has not been found.
“Just because she’s not here doesn’t mean we shouldn’t notice that it’s her birthday and celebrate,” said Charity Leiter, a family friend who has helped lead community members in searches for Coker.
In February, Riverside police named her husband William the only suspect, but no arrests have been made.
“Everybody should be a little scared,” Leiter said. “‘Cause you just never know. And he just needs to be put away.”
Friends at the celebration who spoke with 2 NEWS said they’re optimistic justice for Coker will come soon, asking anyone who may have answers to come forward.
“The smallest thing might not mean something to you, but it may mean something to the police,” said Vickie Cyrus, another family friend.
The community group, using green t-shirts and signs to continue raising awareness, is planning to continue their searches in the Riverside area for Coker, Leiter said, adding that she hopes to see more people get involved.
“I am wide open to go searching anywhere,” Leiter said. “I have a list of places that we’re checking, and I’m ready to start it back up.”
“If this was not Cheryl missing, she would be the first one to have this organized to look for someone else,” said Jan Pitzer, who has also helped with the searches for Coker.
Anyone interested in helping with the searches is asked to connect with the group on Facebook, Leiter said.
2 NEWS has reached out to the detective at the Riverside Police Department handling this case to find out if there are updates. We’re still waiting to hear back.