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Slaying remains unsolved

Authorities lack leads in death of Williams

POSTED: April 29, 2009 6:00 a.m.

More than a year has passed since family members found the body of Cheryl Ann Williams in her parents' Brookwood Drive home near Lake Lanier.

Authorities say Williams, 44, died from a single gunshot wound to the head. No arrests have been made in her April 5, 2008, slaying.

"It's been a year and the person who did this is still running free," said Melanie Young, Williams' stepsister. "Our family is extremely frustrated. We have so many more questions than we have answers."

Young said authorities handling the case have been tight-lipped, releasing few details of the death or investigation.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation Agent Mitchell Posey said authorities are no closer to solving the case than they were last spring.

"We don't have a lot of leads," he said.

Posey said he hopes someone will remember something that will bring law enforcement closer to finding Williams' killer and give closure to the grieving family.

Williams left behind her two adult daughters and an 11-year-old son, who still can't talk about his mother's death.

"We know he still cries," Young said. "He'll come out of his room and you can tell he's been crying, but he doesn't talk about her or what happened."

The family continues to cope with the loss, though Young said Williams' mother, Barbara Bang, has had the most difficulty.

"You don't expect to outlive your children, and Bobbie's done that twice now," said Young, noting that Bang's oldest daughter, Tonya Kitchens, died of pneumonia in 2003.

Young said she can't understand why anyone would have hurt Williams.

"Cheryl was such a loving and kind person," she said. "Even if she was left with nothing, she'd give away the shirt off her back. That's the kind of person she was."

Early in the investigation officers interviewed family and friends, hoping something they knew about Williams could lead to a suspect.

"Everyone told them how loving and kind she was and they told us to tell them about the real Cheryl," she said. "That was the real Cheryl."

Young acknowledged Williams had recently gone through a rough stretch in her life, including a car wreck that brought on depression.

But prior to her death, Young said her stepsister had improved and was moving forward with her life.

"Cheryl had just gone through a divorce and had been Internet dating," she said.

Young said she wonders if Williams' death may be linked to a relationship she made on the Internet.

"This is total speculation on my part, but whoever this was, they knew intimate things about her -- where she lived, where she slept in the house," Young said.

She also worries that no one will be brought to justice.

"I never would have thought this much time would go by without them finding who did this," Young said.

 

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