Investigators in Aliza Sherman case recommend BCI get involved, city says thanks, but no thanks

Posted at 12:21 AM, Nov 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-19 09:11:52-05

It is among the highest profile, unsolved murders in Cleveland. Aliza Sherman, a 53-year-old mother of four,  was murdered in the middle of the day in downtown Cleveland in 2013. Her killer is still on the loose.

“I think anyone who commits a crime like this is a danger to society,” said Cuyahoga County Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer O’Malley.

A team of federal and local law enforcement officers is tasked with closing the case. “I have hope this can be solved,” said O’Malley.

Multiple sources close to this case told News 5, the team recommended the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation be pressed into service.

According to state law, BCI must be formally asked to become involved in any case.

Several sources told News 5 a letter asking for BCI’s help was drafted but then stopped at city hall.

But why?

News 5 has asked both city hall and Cleveland police about why they don’t want the help of BCI, they refused to answer.

Cleveland Police Public Information Officer, Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia, said there aren’t any updates and police will not be giving an interview.

“This case remains with the lead detective originally assigned to this investigation. We do not have a cold case unit. The case is being investigated with the help of the Homicide Review Task Force," said Ciaccia. 

But, in a press release announcing the initiative, it referred to the unit as The Cold Case Homicide Task Force. and BCI has been involved in this case before.

News 5 obtained a letter written by a high-ranking police official asking for help last year. BCI responded with a six-page report. Sources close to this investigation believe their help again could be instrumental in closing this case.

Maria Zoul, a close friend of Sherman wears a pin with her picture every day. A sign with reward information is in her yard. Her car is plastered with posters about Sherman. 

“She did everything for everyone, she never wanted anything for herself,” said Zoul.

Crime Stoppers is offering $100,000 for information leading to an arrest in this case.

Officials said this is the largest amount ever offered and tips can remain anonymous. Anyone with information on the death of Sherman is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 216-252-7463.