Unsolved: Cheryl Marie Kelly (1989)

Cheryl Kelly was 26-years-old when she was murdered in her home in White City. On that day in 1989 all the evidence pointed to only one suspect, but there's one reason this case still isn't closed.

Posted: Feb 21, 2017 3:02 AM
Updated: Nov 8, 2017 9:16 AM

WHITE CITY, Ore. -- Cheryl Kelly was 26-years-old when she was murdered in her home in White City. On that day in 1989 – all the evidence pointed to only one suspect, but there’s one reason this case still isn’t closed.

Investigators say it started as an argument between Cheryl Kelly and Jesus Avita. The two were in a relationship – but one day, their exchange boiled over. Kelly was killed by blunt force trauma and multiple stab wounds.

Other people were in the home during this time – hearing the argument and noticing an even bigger red flag.

"There were people that saw the suspect leave, with blood on him,” Sgt. Eric Fox of the Jackson County Sheriff's Office said.

Weapons, fingerprints, and witnesses from the scene all pointed in one direction. But this straightforward case suddenly made a sharp turn.

"The suspect then immediately fled to mexico," said Fox.

Things quickly shifted to a manhunt for Jesus Avita, with investigators working with Mexican authorities and Interpol to track him down. Miles away and over the border – the clock was ticking to find Kelly’s killer.

But that search ultimately struck midnight.

“Eventually what we learned is jesus avita was murdered by someone else while he was in mexico," said Fox.

An exhaustive search, hopefully leading to some closure, but frustratingly remaining open.

There’s really no doubt that Jesus Avita is the one that committed this crime,” Fox said. “This one is merely unsolved because the suspect is dead and there’s no other evidence of any other suspect committing this crime.”

Investigators say they believe they would’ve been able to get Avita back to the United States if he didn't die in Mexico, tried him in court, and more than likely have him convicted of murder.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 4399

Reported Deaths: 159
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah119462
Marion99926
Washington75218
Clackamas32412
Deschutes1280
Umatilla1233
Linn1199
Polk10112
Lane773
Yamhill747
Jackson680
Benton575
Jefferson450
Clatsop450
Klamath440
Malheur320
Coos310
Douglas280
Wasco281
Hood River280
Josephine231
Lincoln180
Columbia160
Morrow120
Curry70
Union60
Tillamook60
Crook60
Wallowa20
Lake20
Sherman10
Harney10
Grant10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 119348

Reported Deaths: 4374
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles582612489
Riverside8155342
San Diego7674276
Orange6678158
San Bernardino5650209
Alameda354897
Santa Clara2832144
San Francisco261343
Kern241840
San Mateo221284
Tulare202690
Imperial202529
Fresno191437
Santa Barbara169714
Contra Costa151338
Sacramento146358
Kings11686
Ventura116434
San Joaquin108035
Stanislaus76730
Monterey58610
Sonoma5794
Solano54722
Marin50617
Merced3107
San Luis Obispo2791
Placer2409
Santa Cruz2192
Yolo21324
Napa1243
Madera1173
Humboldt1034
El Dorado960
San Benito902
Butte551
Nevada481
Del Norte470
Sutter462
Shasta404
Mono371
Yuba311
Mendocino300
Lake300
Inyo201
Glenn170
Mariposa161
Calaveras150
Amador100
Siskiyou90
Colusa70
Tehama61
Lassen50
Plumas40
Tuolumne40
Alpine20
Sierra10
Trinity10
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 59°
Brookings
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 48°
Crater Lake
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 43°
Grants Pass
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 54°
Klamath Falls
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 43°
Warm & dry Thursday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events