As we reach the nine-year anniversary of a brutal crime that shocked our community, the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office continues to seek the assistance of the public with our investigation of the murder of Sheryl Warner of the Reva area of Culpeper County.
The facts of this case were that on the evening of Sunday, December 18, 2005, around 6:30 p.m., 37-year-old Sheryl “Sherri” Warner was alone in her home located at 8445 James Monroe Highway, 29 South in Culpeper County, about three miles before the Madison County line. She was on the telephone with her father, John Embrey, discussing the recent Washington Redskins win against the Dallas Cowboys. This phone call was interrupted when a male knocked on her front door, reported that his car had broken down, and asked to use her phone to call for assistance. His conversation suggested he was not alone. Sherri Warner hung up the phone and was never heard from again.
Alerted by Sherri’s family, responding fire and law enforcement personnel discovered her home set on fire and her bound, hanging, and lifeless body in the basement. The cause of her death was a gunshot to her head. Her murder robbed her family of a beloved daughter and sister. Most tragic was that Sherri’s three children – aged 13, 10, and 8 – lost their mother that night—a week before Christmas.
The investigation has revealed that at approximately 5:15 p.m. on the date of her murder, Sherri was Christmas shopping at the Belk Store in Culpeper. Store video surveillance shows that as Sherri is leaving the store, an unidentified male holds open the door for her and engages her in conversation. We are asking for this man, or anyone who can identify this man, to contact the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office. It is believed that he is one of the last persons to see Sherri alive and we would like to speak with him concerning any information that he may have that would be pertinent to the investigation.
We are asking if anyone has any information that might be related to this crime to contact us via any of the following means:
– via telephone at 540.829.9750;
– via Culpeper Crime Solvers at 540.727.0300 to remain anonymous;
– via email at email@example.com;
– via email at firstname.lastname@example.org – an e-mail account set-up by the Sheriff’s Office for anonymous submission of information; or
– via mail or in-person at Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office – 14023 Public Safety Court – Culpeper, Virginia 22701.
Regardless of how insignificant you think your information might be, or even if you think we already are aware of it, please let us assess the relevance of your tip. We remain committed to finding the person(s) responsible for the murder of Sherri Warner.
Two Years Ago Police Thought There Was a Breakthrough
From The Daily Progress
The Culpeper County Sheriff’s and Commonwealth’s Attorney’s offices have made “a tremendous breakthrough” in the Dec. 18, 2005 unsolved murder of Sherri Warner in her Reva home.
In a release Monday, Sheriff Scott Jenkins said the department’s pursuit of new leads and the re-examination of existing evidence using the latest technology led to the recent discovery of “a key piece of scientific evidence” potentially identifying a person at the crime scene the night of the murder. Conversely, the new evidence could also enable authorities to exclude innocent suspects, the sheriff said.
According to Jenkins, it is presumed the killer was not alone the night seven years ago when he murdered Warner, a 37-year-old mother of three.
“We want to speak to the second person,” the sheriff said. “We are offering this other person the chance to come clean; remove this burden and fear from your conscience and mind, remove yourself from harm’s way and help us end the killer’s victimization of others.
“We understand you may be afraid of the killer; we can protect you. We understand you may fear your involvement that night could expose you to punishment; your coming forward will go a long way in positively determining your future life. No one should live in fear or danger from this killer. No children should ever have to lose their mother at this killer’s hands again,” Jenkins said.
Eyewitnesses reported a suspicious vehicle in the vicinity of Warner’s home the night of her murder, according to the sheriff’s office release.
“It may be that someone encountered the killer around the time of the crime and thought their behavior odd or frightening,” Jenkins said. “Someone may have heard what was considered an unusual conversation about the murder. We are asking anyone with any information about the events of that night – even if you think it has already been reported – to contact us.”
Whoever killed Warner “brought a lot of violence” to the crime scene, the sheriff said, displaying behavior suggesting “a degree of criminal versatility.”
“They were able to con their way into her home, spend time there, brutally kill her and then escape,” Jenkins said. “It is likely that this person was no stranger to violence and criminality, traits that would be reflected in their arrest history or behavior with others in their life. The killer possesses an ability to move to explosive violence and then recover. Those close to the killer, especially females, may have been the victims of violent outbursts.”
On the night of Dec. 18, 2005, a Sunday, around 6:30 p.m., Warner was alone in her home along U.S. 29 in southern Culpeper County. She was on the phone with her father, John Embrey, discussing the Washington Redskins’ recent win against the Dallas Cowboys when the call was interrupted by a knock on the door. It was a man on her doorstep claiming his car had broken down and asking to use Warner’s phone so he could call for help.
His conversation suggested he was not alone, according to Jenkins. Warner hung up the phone and was never heard from again. Alerted by her family, first responders showed up at her Reva home just before 8 p.m. to find it on fire, her lifeless body bound and hanging in the basement.Warner was shot in the head.
“Most tragic was that Sherri’s three children – aged 8, 10 and 13 – lost their mother that night, a week before Christmas,” Jenkins said.
A Culpeper County High School graduate born in Arlington, Warner had celebrated her 37th birthday ….. MORE