California Police Renew Calls for Help in Death of Teacher Found in Backseat of Car on Halloween

Police in California appeal for assistance in investigating the death of a teacher discovered in the backseat of a car on Halloween

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office in California is seeking the public’s assistance in solving a cold case connected to the mysterious death of an elementary school teacher on Halloween, 30 years ago.

Cherilyn Hawkley, a recent hire in the Eureka School District near Sacramento, was discovered deceased in her car, approximately a mile away from the school where she taught.

According to a press release by the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, the 39-year-old mother of three was found in the backseat of her Doge Caravan minivan with a rope tied around her. Her boyfriend had reported her missing a few days prior. Despite interviewing a person of interest in the case, investigators were unable to find any evidence linking them to Hawkley’s death.

According to SFGate, a 10-year-old student was the last person to see Hawkley alive, as the student reportedly saw her leaving the school on the Friday before her body was discovered. Although two teachers had met with Hawkley on Friday, and she appeared to be in a good mood, by 6:30 p.m.

Hawkley’s car was already gone. Hawkley had recently moved to Roseville after her divorce from Chico and was selected among 500 applicants to start at Oakhills Elementary that fall.

Despite interviews with family members, no information was found about anyone who might want to harm her. The police initially suspected that Hawkley might have been strangled elsewhere and then placed in her van at a later point. The case remains open, and the detectives are still searching for leads to bring closure to her loved ones.

If anyone has any information that could aid in solving this three-decade-old cold case, please call the office’s homicide tip line: (530) 889-7853.

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