Letters to the Editor, written by Connie Eason, Cheryl's mother
Cpl. McCrary Means
Connie Eason reads her own words and her own feelings written in countless letters to the newspaper editor.
"I'm tired of the same unanswered calls and the same old story. The numerous private investigators just seem to give up."
It's her plea for help to get her daughter's murder solved.
"I know there is someone out there that knows something that they aren't saying. I have to be doing something for Cheryl all the time," says Eason.
Cheryl was 27-years-old.
"You never saw Cheryl without a smile," laughs Eason.
Her murder happened Nov. 26, 2002. That's seven long agonizing years for her mother.
"It seems to me that her case is just kind of on the shelf," says Eason. "I wish that I could do what I couldn't do to help her."
The murdered happened outside Cheryl's apartment of what used to be Hot Springs High School. Witnesses reported seeing a black man hanging around the hour before the shooting. Then police say once Cheryl arrived that same man approached her. They had a brief conversation and then he shot her.
Eason explains, "You never really in your mind think that your child is dead until you see it."
She died of a single gunshot to the head. The shooter was gone in a hurry.
"They think he was waiting on her," says Eason.
Her cell phone was taken. A witness gave a description of the suspect but there was no luck catching him.
"I really never got a story from the police except that it was a robbery gone bad," says Eason.
She rushed to the scene but says when she got there 40 minutes later, "There wasn't any tape around the scene of the crime. He [detective] said 'well we like to clean things up quickly,' "she explains.
Today's THV asked for a interview with the lead detective or the Hot Springs Chief of Police but we we're told they don't do interviews. Instead we spoke with the public information officer Cpl. McCrary Means.
He says, "I am sure our detectives do all they can. I have seen first hand these guys work and they work diligently and they do their jobs to come up with some type of outcome."
Eason says, "I get the cold shoulder anytime I go down there and ask any questions. They are defensive. So, I am wanting some answers from them and I am not getting any."
Because it is an active investigation, Cpl. Means couldn't discuss the specific details of the little evidence they do have, but he did give send words for Cheryl's family.
"We haven't given up on it. Even though it is a cold case we haven't given up on it. Again, keep the faith so to speak," he says.
But for Eason, she admits that faith is fading.
"She was the most beautiful thing that I ever had and I miss her deeply," she cries.
Her family is now torn apart. Eason's other daughter moved away after the murder because it was too painful.
Her son had a stroke. He's now suffering from a mental illness.
"It is basically now my husband and I," Eason says.
Meantime she will continue to speak to witnesses and police through letters in the newspaper.
"Please contact the hot springs police dept. Help me find closure for my daughter," she reads.
She calls it her mission, her duty. Now she's her daughter's voice.
"I will talk about Cheryl to everybody and anybody. That is all that I want is someone to come forward," says Eason.
There is a $5,000 reward being offered as a reward.
The suspect is described as a black man in his 20s, 5'5 and about 120 pounds. He had a dark jacket on and a knit cap.
Cheryl's mother has set up a website in her honor hoping new leads will develop.
If you know anything about the murder of Cheryl Eason please call the Hot Springs Police Department at (501) 321-6742.
Our Arkansas Cold Case series airs every Wednesday. If you have a story you would like us to look into, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This series is part of Today's THV's continuing effort to shed light on the state's countless unsolved murders and missing person's cases. To watch previous stories that we've covered go to our Arkansas Cold Case webpage.