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Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 @ 4:16 PM
Updated: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 @ 4:49 PM
RIVERSIDE — A billboard near the intersection of Spinning and Burkhardt roads is up to remind the community of the disappearance of Cheryl Coker six months ago, a case Riverside police have said is now a homicide investigation.
“This is her neighborhood,” said Jan Pitzer, a Riverside resident, who along with Ashley Ferguson helped bring the billboard to a reality. “We want people in our community driving to see the billboard as a constant reminder.”
Pitzer said the billboard was donated by Lamar Advertising and money was raised to prepare the artwork that is featured on the sign.
“I was trying to figure out how we could afford it,” Pitzer said.
The 46-year old woman was reported missing late the night of Oct. 2 by her sister, Margie Keenan. She had gone looking for her younger sister when Cheryl's 15-year old daughter called to tell her she hadn’t seen or heard from her mother and couldn't reach her.
"The pit of my stomach, something hurt, and I knew something wasn't right," Keenan said.
Riverside police Det. Travis Abney said there had been no new developments in the case since Cheryl’s husband Bill Coker was named a suspect.
Several searches have been conducted in recent weeks by Texas Equusearch Ohio - Midwest Chapter and another search, which will include the public, will be held Saturday. Saturday’s search will begin at the command center at St. Helen’s Catholic Church, 5086 Burkhardt Road, according to organizers.
“Parishioners and others are invited to assist, but must be willing to be present the entire day,” St. Helen’s Catholic Church said in a Facebook post.
In order to participate in the search, which begins at 8 a.m., you must be at least 18-years-old and have proper identification. You also will not be able to disclose the areas you are assigned to search or see others searching, Texas Equusearch Ohio - Midwest Chapter said.
So far, searches by the group have come up empty and community organizers are already looking at other options to help keep Cheryl’s case on the radar of those in the community.
“We actually want to put yard signs up,” said Ferguson, who added they are also looking at asking the community to illuminate green lights at their residences.
“It’s important. There’s a family that’s lost a mother, a daughter, a grandma, sister. There’s a family hurting,” Ferguson said.
Anyone with information on Cheryl’s disappearance can contact Riverside police.