Ericka Weems is the whole package. She has beauty, brains and talent. She was fun and entertaining and loved to sing and dance, giving the impression that she was a cheerleader when she was a kid. But that’s not all, Ericka has some basketball skills too.
According to her father, Darrell Weems, as Ericka and her siblings grew, everyone in the house struggled to get to a basketball match or busy studying for exams.
“All of my kids are in the honors,”; Darrell told Dateline. “They graduated at the top of the class.”
Ericka was the middle child of two siblings, sister Shermaine Weems-Reed and younger brother Brandon Weems.Her mother was a family doctor and her father worked at a local factory.Shermaine told Dateline that when they were children, Ericka might have been. Annoying little sister But as they get older, there’s nothing that can separate them.
“Ericka is my best friend,” Shermaine said. “I talk to her every day, sometimes 10 times a day.”
Ericka graduated in 2006 from Ohio State University with a degree in Human Development and Family Sciences. She succeeded in teaching for a master’s degree in 2007, which is when Ericka opened the Recess Child Development Center, a daycare center in Columbus, Ohio.
Her father, Darrell, told Dateline that Ericka always had a love for children and that children truly loved her.
“I used to call her when she was babysitting and she said, ‘Daddy, you always call when I put the kids to bed,’ ”he said.
More than six months ago, 37-year-old Ericka was living to the full She moved back to her hometown of Akron to get closer to her family. She is working on opening a second nursery there. What you need now is a building In the meantime, she ran the babysitting out of the house.
The COVID-19 outbreak forced Ericka to shut down her former nursery in Columbus, but friends said she was relieved to focus on a new chapter in her life.
“Ericka is at the happiest place I think I have ever seen her,” Ericka’s friend Christian Ball told Dateline.
Christian explains to Dateline that Ericka was thrilled that she finally paid off her credit card debt, her home was almost paid, and she recently chose a building for the daycare.
Ericka is known to be heavily involved in her community in Akron.She also helps find an organization called the Young Black Professionals Coalition that provides scholarships to high school students as well as mentoring programs for young people.
“She’s an amazing person,” Shermen added.
Ericka is known to her family and friends as caring and dependable. So when no one was able to contact her on November 2nd, 2020, the day she was supposed to take care of her friend, her loved ones started to worry.
“I just realized this wasn’t like Ericka didn’t pick up her phone,” sister Sherman told Dateline.
Shermaine and her husband John Reed drove to Ericka’s home on Hardesty Boulevard to examine her. When they arrived, the back door was open. They went inside and found the gruesome scene Ericka died of gunshot wounds, Akron police will announce later. Summit County Medical Examiners’ Office said in November her death was being investigated as murder.
It is clear to her loved ones Ericka was murdered, something that is unclear to anyone who knows Ericka is who might want to hurt her.
“She had no problems so much that it didn’t make sense,” Ericka’s friend Christian told Dateline.
For family and friends, it’s hard to believe this might be a random crime. But it’s even harder to imagine the people she knew wanted Ericka to die.When Darrell heard of her daughter’s death, he was heartbroken.
“It’s horrible,” he told Dateline. “I can’t believe it. Who would want to hurt her? “
Darrell recalled spending time with Erica on Halloween night when they watched The Ohio State play Penn State together.Darrell told Dateline that Ericka had received the phone and she told him she was leaving. To meet friends He said he thought back that night and wondered if things would have been different if he asked more questions.
“I wish I had pressed you more,” Darrell told Dateline, “but she’s grown up so you can’t blame yourself. But I blame myself. “
That night was the last time he would see his daughter alive.
Ericka’s sister Shermaine told Dateline she was concerned to learn later about the last message Ericka had sent before her death. “I opened the door for a stranger in my towel because I thought it was you, haha.”
When Sherman learned of this message, she thought it was strange that her sister had never told her about this unusual encounter.
“It’s weird that she wouldn’t talk about that to me,” Shermen said.
The messages have begun to raise more questions for the Weems family, who told Dateline that information was provided to police for an investigation.
“Why is someone out of the sky knocking on your door and it’s a stranger,” Shermen added.
Six months passed But Ericka’s death wounds are still fresh for the Weems family, adding to that pain is fears that Ericka’s case may not be resolved.Shermaine told Dateline she was frustrated and confused by what she said was the absence. Communication between law enforcement and their families throughout this investigation.
“She’s not going to be thrown under the bus,” Sherman said. “I know there are a lot of murders in Akron, but she doesn’t deserve that.”
Shermaine told Dateline she felt compelled to play the detective in her own sister’s murder. Back in the day when she and her husband discovered Ericka’s body and thought of the smallest details to find everything that could lead to Ericka’s killer.
“It’s not about that ‘Oh, she’s another black girl murdered in her home,’ ‘said Sherman. “You violated her privacy and you killed her. That’s too much for me. It’s fine. ”
Lt. Michael Miller, Akron Police Department Police Information Officer, gave Dateline about Ericka’s murder investigation:
“Weems investigation is ongoing and ongoing. Investigators are working diligently to identify the suspects or suspects involved. The detectives have and will continue to pursue all reliable prospects. Every investigation has its own challenges that are unique to it. Although such an incident happened several months ago But we are determined to resolve this case. “
Back in November, NBA star LeBron James made a public request for information on the lawsuit. James is a childhood friend to Erikka’s brother Brandon, who is the director of scouting for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
He tweeted, “AKRON OHIO !! My brother’s sister was murdered this past weekend in her house! My brother’s family wanted answers by why and by whom. My town, I want everyone to go to work and find out who did this horrible, shameful and disgusting thing for such a caring and loving angel! ”
The Cleveland Cavaliers offers rewards valued at up to $ 10,000 to anyone with information leading to the identification, arrest, and indictment of the person or person responsible for the Ericka Weems shooting. Additional rewards of up to $ 5,000 are also offered by: Summit County Crime Stoppers
Anyone with information in this case, please contact the Akron Police Department at 330-374-2490, callers can not be anonymous.