December 18, 2006
Exactly one year after Culpeper mother of three Sheryl Ann Warner was slain in her home, a grand jury indicts a man that has already been sentenced to death for a quadruple murder in Richmond.
"Disbelief. Total shock and disbelief. I'm still in a little state of that, it's still just hard to believe," said Warner's sister Ellen Embrey.
Embrey says it is still hard to fathom. Her sister, Sherri Warner was murdered on this day last year, but for months authorities made no arrests, until now.
"This has been long term investigation, exactly a year to date, but we feel as though we have come to some resolve," said Culpeper County Sheriff Lee Hart.
That resolve was the grand jury indictment of 29-year-old Ricky Gray. Warner was on the phone with her father that December night when authorities believe Gray faked car trouble, entered Warner's home and then killed her. Gray then went on a crime spree that included the slaying of a Richmond family of four. It was that crime that peaked the interest of Culpeper investigators as they proceed cautiously.
"We did not want to get tunnel vision. Just because of other crimes, you do not automatically target and say this is the person that committed the crimes," Hart said.
As investigators searched for clues, Embrey says he family, including Warner's three kids grew tighter. It was that closeness that helped them through the pain.
"We've become closer. It's unfortunate that it took this, not that we weren't close before but we've all stuck together and helped each other out," Embrey said.
Gray is already on death row for the killing of the Harvey family in Richmond on New Year's Day. He will next go before a Culpeper judge on January 3 for his arraignment.