“About 7:45 that morning, pretty much everything electronically with her just stopped,” Abney said.
Surveillance video from a business shows Coker’s 2016 Toyota Highlander driving into the Kroger parking lot at Spinning and Burkhardt — less than a mile from her home — at 10:48 a.m. The video stops before the driver gets out.
Coker’s family discovered her vehicle the next evening, Oct. 3, using the Find My iPhone app. They became alarmed when police found a backpack inside the vehicle containing Coker’s purse and cellphone.
“She doesn’t go anywhere without that phone,” Keenan said.
So where is Cheryl Coker?
Her family doesn’t believe she just left.
“She would never, never be gone without calling her 15-year old daughter,” said Cheryl’s mother, Mary Carroll.
Detectives also don’t believe Coker was abducted. It’s interesting to note, however, there were a number of key developments in her personal life in the months before she went missing.
Cheryl Coker filed for divorce from William “Bill” Coker, her husband of 19 years on Sept. 21 — seeking custody of their teenage daughter and spousal support.
Bill Coker had a girlfriend — and Cheryl knew about the woman.
Detectives have interviewed both people. “They’ve both been very cooperative with us at this point,” Abney said.
Cheryl Coker had begun dating and met a man she liked at Julia’s Nite Club in Miami Twp. Police have also questioned him and say he has been fully cooperative.
In the five weeks before her disappearance, there were some texts that have drawn detectives’ attention.
On Aug. 28, Bill Coker’s girlfriend told police Cheryl texted her asking that if Cheryl “were to die or wasn’t in the picture, would she pursue a permanent relationship” with Bill.
“It was reportedly sent by Cheryl,” Abney said, “but we’re not 100 percent convinced that she actually did send that.”
Another text from Bill Coker to his wife on Sept. 24: “Thanks for putting the nail in my coffin.”
And that same day, a text from Cheryl to a coworker: “I will be in tomorrow if I’m not dead.”
The weekend before she went missing, Cheryl attended her niece’s wedding, while Bill took their daughter on a trip to Florida. Police confirm Bill Coker took his girlfriend too. Cheryl’s best friend, Shelly Appelhans, says Cheryl could not have known that.
“I think that mama bear would have came (sic) out if she would have know that other woman was going,” Appelhans said.
Bill Coker and his daughter returned home from the Florida trip on Monday night, Oct. 1 — just hours before Cheryl was last seen.
Riverside police are committed to finding Cheryl Coker no matter how long it takes.
“I’m very optimistic that this case will be solved and that justice will be served,” Abney said.
Meanwhile, waiting for word is excruciating for Coker’s family.
Missing person: Have you seen this Riverside woman?
“I just want her to come home,” said her mother, Mary Carroll. “I miss her.”