'I just want to know why?': Daughter determined to get justice for mother killed while walking dog in park

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — It’s been almost a year since the tragic and random killing of a Cleveland woman while walking her dog.

The case has gone cold, but her family is still hoping for answers.

Katie Wallace said she is speaking out not only so that her mother’s memory and the case is not forgotten, but so that the people who did this are not able to hurt anyone else.

“I just want to know why. Why her? You know? Like why her?” Katie asked.

The questions surrounding 58-year-old Sheila Wallace’s death still haunt her.

“We’re trying our hardest to hang in there but it’s not easy. We’re all a wreck. We’re kind of just shells of who we used to be in a way,” Katie explained.

Sheila was walking in McGowan Park on Cleveland’s west side around 7 p.m. on January 17, 2019.  A short time later her body was found in the park with her dog still by her side.

Cleveland police said she was shot three times, once in the head and twice in the chest. No arrests have been made.

“I’m furious. I don’t understand how somebody can just take someone’s life out in the open in broad daylight practically and just get away with it,” said Katie.

Her mother’s death has changed how she goes about her day.

“It’s almost like I search faces. I see a random stranger and it’s like, you wonder,” she said. “I’m paranoid, you know. I’m scared I’m next.”

She keeps her mother’s memory close to her heart. A light, she calls her, in this world.

“She had this way of just making the worst days the best,” she said.

Katie understands the fear someone may have sharing new information, but she hopes her voice will encourage anyone who may know something to help bring her family justice.

“The outpouring of people on social media, in everyday life, just people checking on us making sure we’re OK, it’s just been tremendous,” she said.

The last time she saw her mother alive, they shared a special moment.

“The last thing she said to me was ‘never settle’,” she recalled.

When it comes to finding answers to her mother’s case, she says she never will settle.

“I would tell her that I’m sorry that this happened to her. That she didn’t deserve this and I would tell her that I love her so much,” she said.

There is a $5,000 reward from Crimestoppers leading to the arrest of the suspects involved in Sheila’s murder.

A community vigil is being held on January 17 to mark a year since she died. It will be held  at McGowan Park at 7 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring their own candles.


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