It’s been exactly one year since family reported Riverside mother Cheryl Coker missing.

Cheryl Coker Homicide: Vigil marks one-year anniversary of disappearance

For the last year, News Center 7 has followed every step of this case since Coker was last seen the morning of Oct. 2, 2018, dropping off her daughter at Stebbins High School in Riverside. 

In honor of Coker, a large crowd of family, friends and community members gathered Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil at St. Helen’s Parish.

Family, friends and community members were holding candles, singing and praying for Cheryl Coker to be found during a vigil at St. Helen's Parish on Oct. 2, 2019, on the one-year anniversary of the 46-year-old Riverside woman’s disappearance.
Photo: SEAN CUDAHY / STAFF

“We’re just praying they can find Cheryl and bring her home,” family friend Jane Dodd said.

MORE: Woman missing one month; husband says he wishes he knew what happened

Coker’s cellphone records show she made it back home after dropping off her daughter at school, before never being seen again. Her car was later seen in surveillance footage in the parking lot of Kroger on Spinning Road. A person wearing all black got out of her car and walked away.

The next night, Coker’s daughter used an app to find her car, phone and purse in that same shopping center parking lot near her house.

In February of this year, News Center 7’s Cheryl McHenry was the first to report that Riverside police consider this a homicide investigation, and that Coker’s husband, William “Bill” Coker, is a person of interest in the case.

Riverside police said they believe he was the last person in the house with Cheryl. Bill Coker has not been charged, and he has maintained his innocence.

The Cokers were married for 19 years. She had recently filed for divorce when she went missing, but court records say they still lived together.

MORE: Legal expert weighs in on why suspect in Coker case is not charged

Riverside police would not comment on the case one year out.

During the vigil, soft music played in the background as people stood outside the church in Riverside.

“A lot of people loved her and miss her,” family friend Jerry Dodd said.

The Midwest Chapter of Texas EquuSearch, based in Ohio, will return to search for Coker this weekend.

The searches on Saturday and Sunday will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Dayton Air Show parking lot of North Dixie Drive in Vandalia, across the street from McCauley Drive.

MORE: Public joins final Texas EquuSearch

All searchers must be 18 with a valid ID, dressed appropriately for the weather and for walking in thick woods.

Texas EquuSearch also was in town searching for Coker on Sept. 28. Before then, the last public search for Coker was in April.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: 

 >> Cheryl Coker billboard serves as reminder of her disappearance 6 months later

 >> Cheryl Coker case: ‘I’ve never in my entire life hurt anyone,’ says husband 

 >> Cheryl Coker Timeline: How police got to naming husband as person of interest 

 >> New court documents filed in Cheryl Coker case

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