Questions remain unanswered one year after Cheryl Coker’s disappearance

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Riverside Police still have few leads in the Cheryl Coker case, and Wednesday marks one full year after she went missing. Friends and family are remembering her with a vigil.

The case remains open and is still being investigated as a homicide.

William Coker is still the only suspect police have named, but in the year since her disappearance, police have not secured enough evidence to make an arrest.

“I don’t think it’s as fluid now as it was then, of course,” said Riverside Police Chief Frank Robinson.

After 12 months, the urgency, tips, and information have slowed as the investigation into Coker’s disappearance plods on.

What began as a missing person case was eventually deemed a homicide.

“It’s very hard, especially after a week, not knowing or hearing anything. It’s very hard to keep those good spirits and stuff,” says Coker’s daughter, Marisa.

In February, police named Cheryl’s estranged husband, William, as the sole suspect.

At the time, Detective Abney with Riverside PD said, “We’re extremely confident in this investigation.”

But in the nearly 8 months since he was named, he’s never been arrested or charged.

READ MORE: Husband is ‘only suspect’ in Coker homicide investigation

William Coker was uncooperative then, and is uncooperative now.

“No, it’s still the same. Mr. Coker has had minimal action throughout the whole investigation,” said Chief Robinson.

Legal experts have questioned the strategy of naming a suspect without enough evidence to make an arrest.

“If he’s never arrested and tried and all this kind of stuff, I think he’s got a good basis for a defamation suit,” said Tom Hagel, Professor of Law at the University of Dayton.

But Riverside Police maintain they’re staying on the case.

“We’re waiting for that opportunity that’s going to present itself, we hope. We’re never going to stop looking for Cheryl, we’re never going to stop looking into this case to find out what happened to Cheryl. That’s just where our stance is now,” said Chief Robinson.

A prayer vigil for Coker will be held at 7 pm Wednesday at St. Helen Parish on Granville Place.

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