SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio — The Thanksgiving holiday is right around the corner, but for the family of 91-year-old Essie Mae Henry who was found dead in the bushes near an apartment building on Warrensville Center Road, the empty seat at the table and unanswered questions will make the first holiday without her a difficult one.
Her son Patrick Henry said her death has left a void in his family's hearts, and the upcoming holiday will be a difficult one.
The medical examiner said Essie Henry was beaten to death, she was found on November 4th.
“It’s an awful case. All murders are terrible but this is particularly terrible,” said Captain Richard McIntosh, of Cuyahoga County CrimeStoppers.
South Euclid police said Essie Henry had a routine. She took a walk around her neighborhood. Police said she was killed along the busy stretch of Warrensville Center Road while she took her daily walk.
“My mother was the matriarch of our family. We would all go to for advice on various things,” said her daughter Balind Profitt.
Detective Michael DeMario, of the South Euclid Police Department, said she made stops at local businesses often, and those who knew her, loved her.
“Walgreens knows what days she buys her bacon and she prefers lightly salted chips. Burger King knows where she lives because they have given her a ride home. Essie and a Starbucks employee exchanged Christmas presents,” said DeMario.
The killer of the mother, grandmother and great-grandmother is still on the loose. Crimestoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.
“Not only is the family at a loss, but the community as well,” DeMario said.
Her children describe Essie Henry as strong, feisty and deeply religious and always concerned for everyone else.
Patrick Henry said if she were still here, “she would say to us don’t centralize on me. Think about yourselves and those with loved ones, tell them to be careful.”
You can call CrimeStoppers at 216-252-7463 with information. All tips are anonymous.
Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.