RIVERSIDE, Ohio (WDTN) – Tuesday, friends and family of Cheryl Coker held a vigil in Riverside to mark six months since her disappearance. Police continue to investigate her case as a homicide, with her husband also named as the main suspect.
Six months ago, Riverside Police reached out to 2 NEWS when Coker was first reported missing. The initial circumstances were troubling, but no one could predict what would happen over the next few months.
People at the vigil wore green shirts and released balloons to honor Cheryl.
For some, it was a sobering moment. Not everyone expected to be at this vigil six months after Cheryl’s disappearance.
“I know these things take time. I guess I didn’t really think about that being a part of it. That it does take a long time. But I really was hoping something would be done before 6 months,” said Charity Leiter, a family friend of the Coker’s.
Members of the Texas Equusearch Midwest team were also on hand.
“They (the community) were waiting patiently in the wings and I appreciated that and at the time we needed them, they rallied around us and not one person complained of the conditions,” said David Rader of Texas Equusearch.
There will be another large-scale search this Saturday in Riverside. If you want to help, meet at St. Helen’s Church at 8:00 am. You MUST BE ABLE TO SEARCH UNTIL 5:00pm. Searchers must present a valid ID in order to participate.
October 2, 2018: Cheryl Coker drops one of her daughters off at school. She returns home, and within a three hour span, she is unaccounted for.
October 3, 2018: Coker’s car is found in a Kroger parking lot next to Clancy’s Tavern. Marisa Coker, Cheryl’s daughter, found the car using the Find My iPhone app. All of Cheryl’s personal belongings were found inside.
“Not knowing anything, not hearing anything, it’s very hard to keep those good spirits and stuff, even though you try so hard to do that,” she says.
Eleven days before Coker went missing, she filed from divorce from her husband, William. It was also revealed that the two were in an open marriage.
Roughly one month into the investigation, police say they are investigating a kidnapping.
Eventually, search warrants yield new evidence such as a text from Cheryl sent to a coworker that read: “So, I will be in tomorrow if I’m not dead.”
Flash forward to December: Riverside Police tell 2 NEWS that they have narrowed their suspect pool.
“This is one of those cases that, I think it’s a very close-knit kind of case,” said Chief Frank Robinson with the Riverside Police Department.
Between November and December, community search groups grow in numbers.
February 19, 2019: Police publicly name William Coker their main suspect. New video is released showing a man dressed in all black dropping Cheryl’s car off and making his way back to the Coker neighborhood.
Just this last Saturday, the largest public search was conducted. Items were collected that were initially thought to be of interest to the case, but police later confirmed that no new evidence was found.
William Coker remains the main suspect but he has not yet been charged.