Sandra Kerby: 10 Years Later

July 10, 2009 5:27:37 PM PDT
It's one of Fresno's most high profile unsolved cases. On Friday, the mother of Sandra Kerby shares her raw emotions on the 10th anniversary of her daughter's disappearance. Now, detectives are taking new steps to solve this case.There's no physical proof, but Kerby is presumed dead. The popular Fresno teacher was last seen leaving her daughter's home ten years ago. Police have never found her body or made any arrests.

Sandra's family has never had closure, because Sandra simply vanished. Fresno Police named a person of interest. He is not cooperating with investigators forcing police to use high tech methods.

Bette Shearman once enjoyed painting but says her artistic inspiration vanished when her daughter Sandra disappeared ten years ago. She continues to call Sandra's former husband Frank Kerby a killer. Shearman said, "I know he did it. He was mean ... When she comes with fat lips and black eyes, wouldn't you think that guy is the one who killed her."

Police named Frank a person of interest not a suspect. Detectives found the victim's Ford Explorer parked at the River Park Shopping Center. They suspect foul play. Other than the vehicle, nothing else has been found to tell what happened to Sandra.

Sandra taught first grade at Gibson Elementary School. Ten years ago, the campus was ground zero for the community's outpouring of support. Ribbons covered the fence line calling for Sandra's safe return. Parents and teachers passed out flyers asking for the community's help. But on this Friday, we found none of those same efforts just a quiet school."

Sue Smits was principal at Gibson when Sandra vanished. Smits said, "Sandy will never be forgotten as an educator ... Sandy was a unique teacher. She had the ability to nurture students at whatever level they were performing."

Fresno Detective Bartlett Ledbetter said evidence found inside her car was submitted 6 months ago for DNA testing. The results are still pending. In the meantime, their eyes also remain on Frank. Ledbetter said, "We have looked at him. But we are not going to focus specifically on him ... at this time, Mr. Kerby has retained counsel and we are not allowed to speak to him."

A Fresno judge declared Sandra legally dead nearly three years ago even though her body was never found. Her mother still hopes someone will unravel the mystery. Shearman said, "Maybe she disappeared, well I never had that in mind that maybe she got mad and just went off. To me, she is dead. I've just accepted it."

We were unable to reach frank on Friday for a comment. Once again, he is only a person of interest. Fresno Police are not optimistic the DNA testing will even be completed soon because of the state budget crisis

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