Sometimes people go missing in such suspicious circumstances that the police treat their disappearance as a homicide and investigate it as such. That generally means they have a suspect in mind but have not been able to get enough evidence to charge that suspect. Cherice Gwinn Stephens went missing from Raleigh County (West Virginia) September 29, 1993 in such a situation.
For those who don’t know where Raleigh County (WV) is located, you may have heard of Beckley, West Virginia. It is not far from the New River Gorge Bridge and is near the training facility for federal mine inspectors.
Cherice Gwinn (Stephens) disappeared between September 29th and October 1, 1993, although she was not reported missing until September, 1994. How did that happen, you might ask? That immediately brings up all kinds of red flags, questions and suspicions. Read on.
At the time of her disappearance, Cherice Gwinn was married to Norman Stephens. They lived in a small residence on the Harmon property on Brackenridge Road in the Bolt area of Raleigh County.
Cherice was a student at The College of WV (Beckley College). She also enjoyed fitness and joined the L.A. East Gym in Beckley. Prior to her disappearance she worked at Spartan Sporting Goods in Beckley.
Do you have a suspect in mind yet? There’s more.
Cherice drove a 1993 white Dodge Daytona (pictured). Strangely enough her car disappeared the same time as Cherice but it mysteriously reappeared a month later. The police are really seeking any additional information relating to the storage or transport of this vehicle during the fall of 1993. That could help them solve her disappearance and likely murder.
Cherice was last seen alive by her husband, Norman Stephens. Just weeks after her disappearance, Norman Stephens filed for divorce and that divorce was final on Valentine’s Day, 1994.
It was not Norman who reported her missing and remember she was not reported missing until September 1994, months after his divorce from her was final. Norman Stephens never reported Cherice missing and has never fully cooperated with the police. Norman has never been willing to talk with Cherice’s family about her disappearance despite their many requests for him to do so.
At the time of her disappearance, Norman Stephens worked for UPS and not long after her disappearance, he moved to Cherry Hill Apartments in the Beaver area of Raleigh County. Additionally, in the years immediately following Cherice`s disappearance, Norman Stephens closely associated with Benjamin Williams, who, like Norman, was a graduate of Independence High School Other associates at the time included Robert Miller (a high school friend who had joined the USAF and was living in Texas and/or North Carolina) and his coworkers from the Beckley UPS.
This case is being investigated as a homicide. If you have ANY information pertaining to the aforementioned facts or circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Cherice Gwinn, even background information that you may not think is important, her family urges you to contact CRIME STOPPERS at 304-255-STOP (7867). The investigating officers are West Virginia State Police F/Sgt. D. L. Bowles at 304-647-7600 and Sgt. G. D. Williams at 304-256-6700.
I don’t necessarily love the idea of people providing information because they want the money but if a reward motivates someone when nothing else does, there is a reward offered for helping bring this case to an end.
PLEASE HELP THE GWINN FAMILY HAVE SOME CLOSURE ABOUT THE DISAPPEARANCE OF THEIR DAUGHTER. IF YOUR TIP ABOUT CHERICE GWINN LEADS POLICE TO MAKE AN ARREST, you will receive a minimum cash reward of $1,000.00 and up to $5,000.00 cash reward, depending on how helpful your information is to the solving of the case.
This information is from the Raleigh County (WV) Crime Stoppers website and you can see this case there, as well as other Raleigh County cold cases at http://raleighcounty.crimestoppersweb.com/misc.aspx?p=1.
Verify the reward information if that is what motivates you with the Crime Stoppers at the phone number above. There is someone out there besides the killer who knows what happened to Cherice. It is likely that someone stored the car for the killer and then it reappeared. Someone may have helped the killer by driving the car away or by picking the killer up after they took the car somewhere.
It is time to step up to the plate and help this family.