AUSTIN (KXAN) - Sherrill McBride was a young mother who had been down on her luck shortly before she was found dead in an East Austin field in August 2011. McBride, 29, had problems with addiction and had been arrested for prostitution in the two years she lived in Austin. Her family said she was homeless at the time of her death.
"She was such a kind girl, she was such a giving girl. She wanted a better life- she just couldn't get out of it," said her mother Jamie Moore by phone from her home in Illinois, where McBride grew up. "That somebody took their hands and physically beat her to death is unimaginable. I can't imagine what she went through," Moore said through tears.
The 911 call came on August 12, 2011 around 6:30 p.m. in the 3100 block of Gonzales Street, where someone discovered McBride's body and called police. A witness in the area described a Hispanic man driving a black truck in the area around the time McBride was discovered, but police have not been able to make any arrests and worry the case could be growing cold.
"It was broad daylight, its an open area- there's pedestrian traffic in the area there's vehicle traffic in the area. It wasn't behind a building, it wasn't in the woods- it was right out in the open," said the APD Detective on the case, Kerry Scanlon. "It kind of baffled me at first but my inclination is that whoever did it in that particular location is very familiar with that location."
Scanlon has released surveillance photos of a black truck seen in the area around the time McBride's body was discovered. He is hoping someone will recognize the truck and the sketch of the man seen in the area.
"I feel like the information is here that might cause somebody to remember something that they didn't think was significant or might cause somebody to remember something about somebody they know," said Scanlon.
Moore said her daughter was struggling with the deaths of a husband and a brother and could not seem to get control of her addiction, but the family did not realize how low Sherrill had become.
"She just didn't have anybody there for her- and she needed that," said Moore.
She added that McBride's sister filed a missing persons report on Sherrill three months before her body was found.
"It doesn't stop- the pain doesn't stop," said Moore. "When you're told that a child is dead, the indescribable pain of it is like you can't describe it."
Scanlon said detectives were able to recover DNA evidence from McBride's body that could belong to the killer. He has a profile, but not a match.
"DNA at least helps you identify somebody's presence- either at that scene or with the person involved," said Scanlon.
Investigators say McBride was in the area of East Second and Comal streets between the hours of 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. the day she was murdered. That is only one mile from where he body was discovered.
The case remains under investigation by the Austin Police Department Homicide Unit. Anyone with information is asked to call the Homicide Tip Line at 512-477-3588, Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS or text "Tip 103" plus your message to CRIMES.
Tipsters may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 if a tip leads to an arrest or charges being filed.
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