Video offers new clue in Culpeper cold case murder mystery

Posted at 6:17 PM, Dec 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-18 18:17:10-05

CULPEPER COUNTY, Va. – Police are asking the public for help after a new clue surfaced in a Central Virginia cold case murder mystery once connected to Ricky Gray.

Gray was one of the men convicted in the  Harvey and Baskerville family murders around New Year's Day nearly nine years ago.

Culpeper deputies released video Thursday of murder victim Sheryl Warner shopping at a Belk store before her death.

Video shows Warner talking to an unknown man, who holds the door open for her, before she left the store.

"We are asking for this man, or anyone who can identify this man, to contact the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office," Culpeper Sheriff Scott H. Jenkins wrote in a news release. "It is believed that he is one of the last persons to see Sherri alive and we would like to speak with him concerning any information that he may have that would be pertinent to the investigation."

Sheryl Warner

Sheryl Warner

The 37-year-old  was found hanging in her Culpeper basement in 2005. The home was also on fire.

Gray was once indicted in her death, but years later, prosecutors set aside the charge based on DNA evidence at the scene that they say did not belong to Gray.

According to Warner's father, she called him when she got home and they were talking about the recent Redskins win against the Cowboys, when a man knocked on her door saying he was having car trouble and needed to use her phone.

Her father said, the man was not alone and that Warner 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," Jenkins said. "The cause of her death was a gunshot to her head. Her murder robbed her family of a beloved daughter and sister. Most tragic was that Sherri’s three children - aged 13, 10, and 8 - lost their mother that night—a week before Christmas."

If you remember anything about the case – or recognize anyone in the video, contact investigators at 540-829-9750 or call Culpeper Crime Solvers at 540-727-0300. You can also email or an e-mail account set-up by the sheriff’s office for this case: