From the files of the Cold Case Squad
On the evening of July 4, 1982, Sherry Eyerly was sent to deliver pizzas at a non-existent address near the Willamette River. Her delivery vehicle was subsequently located in the vicinity, and she has never been seen again.
On December 18, 2007 William Scott Smith pled guilty to Sherry Eyerly’s murder. His plea ended a two-year investigation by cold case investigators during which hundreds of leads were followed up, and hundreds of interviews were conducted.
Smith had previously been convicted of two Salem-area homicides and was in custody during this investigation. Initial investigators discounted Smith’s involvement in Eyerly’s disappearance as a result of alibi information. However, a behavioral analysis of this case revealed many similarities between Eyerly’s disappearance and Smith’s other crimes. Cold case investigators set out to eliminate Smith as a suspect, but came across information that destroyed the 1982 alibi instead.
Follow-up interviews increasingly pointed investigators toward Smith, and during prison interviews, he admitted his involvement in Sherry‘s kidnapping and murder. During his 2007 court appearance, he was sentenced to an additional term of life imprisonment. Case cleared.
William Scott Smith