Victim was in snare of drugs
Woman tried to hide other life from family

Wednesday, May 20, 1998

BY JANICE MORSE
The Cincinnati Enquirer

MADISON TOWNSHIP -- Even as she struggled to break free from a drug habit that family members claim gripped her, Cheryl Durkin fell into the clutches of the killer who dismembered her.

Durkin
Cheryl Durkin
"Drugs controlled her. Crack cocaine is what she was addicted to, and you can't control it," said Ms. Durkin's sister, Karla Edwards, 41, of Madison Township. "We don't know whether it had anything to do with what happened to her, how she ended up in the river, nothing but a torso. That's something you can't make sense out of." The torso was found floating in the Great Miami River on April 13. Authorities on Monday said genetic tests identified it as belonging to Ms. Durkin, a 33-year-old drywall contractor who hung out with street people in dual lifestyles that she tried to keep hidden from her family.

"We didn't see that part of her life," Mrs. Edwards said.

The search for Ms. Durkin's other body parts continues -- and so does the search for her killer.

"We've still got a lot of work ahead of us," Butler County Sheriff's Lt. Anthony Dwyer said Tuesday.

He said no suspects were in custody, and detectives were still conducting interviews. Ms. Durkin had been married once, but had no children, family members said.

Any info? Call sheriff

Anyone with information about Cheryl Durkin's whereabouts on or after Feb. 22 is asked to call the Butler County Sheriff's Office at 887-3031.
"When you're talking about a crime of this nature, of this seriousness, you don't rule anybody out," said Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Mike Craft. "There will be no stone unturned, because everyone in this entire division is just sick about trying to find out who did this. We all have the drive, the passion. We all want to get this solved." Investigators are awaiting laboratory test results on possible evidence seized during Monday's top-to-bottom search of 603 14th Ave., a Middletown residence where Ms. Durkin sometimes stayed when she was not at her sister's.

Ms. Durkin, who had lived in Middletown as a girl and returned to the area from Kentucky last September, stood about 5-foot-10 and often was seen walking around the downtown area, Lt. Dwyer said. Ms. Durkin's mother, Dorothy Bond, was visiting from Kentucky and staying at Mrs. Edwards' home on Feb. 18 when Ms. Durkin said she was going downtown for a game of billiards and would return in about an hour.

"And that was the last I saw or heard of my daughter," Miss Bond said in an interview Tuesday at Mrs. Edwards' home.

Ms. Durkin was last seen wearing a black leather jacket with fringe atop the shoulders and along the upper back.

Investigators know where she was on Feb. 21, "but we kind of lose track of her after that," Lt. Dwyer said, declining to disclose the last known location.

Miss Bond, 66, said she imbued her daughter with Christian beliefs and said her daughter tried to rely upon her faith to pull her out of her drug addiction.

"That girl loved the Lord," Miss Bond said. "We don't know where all of her parts are, but we know where her spirit is. It's in Heaven -- and there, she is the beautiful daughter I remember. She is whole."



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