Please help Culpeper to solve this brutal crime

Date published: 12/28/2012

AS WE reach the seven-year anniversary of a brutal crime that shocked our community, the Culpeper County Sheriff's Office and the Culpeper County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office continue to seek the public's assistance with our investigation into the murder of Sheryl Warner. Sheryl was a resident of the Reva area of Culpeper County. We remain absolutely committed to solving this crime.

Our pursuit of new leads and the re-examination of existing evidence with the latest technology have led to the recent discovery of a key piece of scientific evidence that could potentially identify a person at the crime scene on the night of the murder. Conversely, this same evidence could also enable us to exclude innocent parties from the suspect pool. This has been a tremendous breakthrough for us.

The facts of this case are that on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2005, at around 6:30 p.m., 37-year-old Sheryl "Sherri" Warner was alone in her home at 8445 James Monroe Highway (U.S. 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 Washington Redskins' recent 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. Sheryl 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 wound to her head. Her murder robbed her family of a beloved daughter and sister. Most tragic was that Sherri's three children--ages 8, 10, and 13, lost their mother that night--a week before Christmas.

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Date published: 12/28/2012