AKRON, Ohio — A devastated Akron family is demanding justice after a woman was murdered inside her home on Hardesty Boulevard on the west side of town.
Concerned family members found the body of Ericka Weems, 37, in a bedroom around 3 p.m. Monday.
According to the Summit County Medical Examiner, Weems died from a gunshot wound to the head, and the case was ruled a homicide.
"They just stripped our whole world in the blink of an eye," said her sister, Shermaine Weems-Reed.
Loved ones described Ericka as loving and caring. She graduated from Akron Buchtel High School and Ohio State University. She enjoyed traveling and had many friends, her family told News 5.
"She just loved and cared about everybody. She had the biggest heart," said her brother, Brandon Weems. "I'm going to miss her dearly."
Ericka's father, Darrell Weems, said he last saw his daughter at his home Saturday night.
"She left me about 9 o'clock. I told her to call me when she got home, and she never called. I called her all day Sunday. No answer," he said.
Ericka was supposed to watch a child for a family friend on Monday, but the mother of the child was also unable to make contact with Ericka.
That mother called Weems-Reed, who went to the home on Hardesty Boulevard with her husband.
Ericka was found deceased in an upstairs bedroom, and the family called 911.
"I just knew in my heart something was wrong and it was," Weems-Reed said.
Relatives said Ericka owned a daycare center in Columbus, but she closed it and moved back to Akron to be closer to her family.
She recently started running a daycare out of the Akron home that she moved into over the summer, the family said.
"She had a passion and love for children," Brandon Weems said. "She could get kids to say and do things that even their parents couldn't do."
Akron police have no suspects in the murder and said the case remains under investigation.
Detectives have many unanswered questions, including: "Did Ericka know her killer? Did she allow that person into the home? Was there a break-in? Is anything missing from the residence?"
Shermaine Weems-Reed is begging anyone with information about the murder to come forward.
"Please. I never ever thought I would ever be in this position. Just please tell somebody something," she said. "This is such a tragedy for us."
Summit County Crimestoppers is offering a reward up to $5,000 for information leading to the killer. Tipsters can remain anonymous by calling 330-434-COPS or by texting TIPSCO with tips to 274637.
Those with information can also contact Akron detectives at 330-375-2490 or 330-375-2TIP.