AKRON, Ohio — Every day, Shermaine Weems-Reed wears two necklaces with pictures of her sister Ericka Weems engraved on them.
"I keep her close," Weems-Reed said. "My angel that I know is looking over me every single day and she's gonna help me get through this."
One year after Weems, 37, was shot to death inside her West Akron home on Hardesty Boulevard, police have not made any arrests and Weems-Reed is pleading with the public to come forward with any information that could bring justice to the family.
"I've got to stay strong for not only her— my kids, m family— and to get her the justice she deserves," Weems Reed said during an emotional interview with News 5. "She's not resting until we find out who did this to her."
She last spoke with her sister in the early morning hours of November 1, 2020, but concern began to mount when no one could reach her over the next 24 hours.
Weems-Reed and her husband went to Weems' home on the afternoon of November 2 and entered through a back door.
In a second-floor bedroom, the couple made a horrifying discovery. Weems-Reed said her sister's body was cold and investigators would determine she had been shot to death.
"Who would do something so horrible? For what," Weems-Reed said.
Since the tragedy, their father Darrell Weems passed away from natural causes.
"I believe he died of a broken heart," Weems-Reed said.
Family members said Ericka Weems had a memorable laugh and was extremely kind. She supported a group that made meals for the homeless.
While she didn't have any children of her own, she adored kids and had started running a daycare out of her home not long before her murder. Prior to that, she owned a daycare center in Columbus but moved back to Akron to be closer to family.
Her brother works for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the organization offered a $10,000 reward in the case. In addition, Summit County Crimestoppers is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the killer.
The killing led to a tweet from LeBron James last November. Part of reads, "My city, I need y'all to go to work and find out who did this awful, shameful, disgusting thing to such a caring, loving angel!"
On Tuesday morning, Lt. Michael Miller from the Akron Police Department visited Weems-Reed outside of her home to offer his sympathy and to reassure the family that the case remains active.
"I know this hurts and there's a gap, but I want you to know that there's not a time that we've forgotten," Miller said.
Police are not sure if Weems knew her killer or if the crime was random. Miller stated that some information is being kept "close to the vest" because there are details only the killer would know.
"We're just hoping that on the heels of this anniversary that it would stir the conscious of somebody to please come forward," Miller said.
The family is in the process of creating a scholarship fund in Ericka's name that will benefit students at Buchtel High School, her alma mater.
In the meantime, Weeks-Reed is determined to make sure her sister is never forgotten and strongly believes that justice will arrive one day.
"I have to let it go and let God, and believe it's gonna come to light real soon. Real soon."
Anyone with information on the murder should call Akron detectives at 330-375-2490 or Summit County Crimestoppers at 330-434-COPS.