Detectives hope new push, financial reward will solve three-year-old cold case

Cherie Kirkendall was shot in apartment in 2010

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - The trail went cold, but detectives are still trying to hunt down the person who killed a Winter Haven woman nearly three years ago.

Cherie Kirkendall died from a single gunshot wound. Investigators say she was in her bedroom with her window open.

"Somebody out there knows something," said Sgt. Mitch Meadows, with the Winter Haven Police Department.

On Thursday, officers returned to Cherie's old neighborhood to hand out fliers and post signs to renew interest in the cold case.

"We still haven't gotten over it," said Lacy Barker, Cherie's youngest sister who was in a different part of the apartment during the shooting.

Witnesses heard a single gunshot and found Cherie dead.

Although Cherie had a criminal history of mostly drug charges, detectives believe it was a random act.

Their strongest theory is that someone shot her through the open window.

"There are no eyewitnesses in this case. We have had tips come in over the past three years, but none of them have panned out," Meadows said.

Investigators hope the new publicity and a 3,000 dollar reward will generate new leads.

Owner of Reed's Grocery, David Patel, frequently saw Cherie. Her home was just down the road from his store.

"If somebody wants to come forward they will have the time to do it now," he said. "Before they might have been afraid."

Others in the small community are still on edge after three years, especially those with kids like Delores Dennis.

"The person is still out there. You don't know who it is, it could be the person standing next door. You really don't know who it is," she said.

At least for now, Cherie's family is not ready to give up on the overdue justice.

"Hopefully soon," Barker said. "I'm hoping and praying to God."

Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-226-TIPS.

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