STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

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: 19978

Reported Deaths: 338
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah460893
Washington292124
Marion275568
Umatilla214126
Clackamas146438
Malheur71512
Deschutes5558
Lane5403
Jackson4211
Lincoln4149
Yamhill40412
Union3922
Jefferson3323
Morrow3272
Polk30112
Linn26310
Klamath2001
Hood River1780
Wasco1723
Benton1626
Douglas1401
Josephine1082
Coos890
Columbia860
Clatsop830
Crook421
Baker360
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Curry140
Sherman140
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant20
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 530606

Reported Deaths: 9808
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1981654827
Riverside38487738
Orange38131665
San Bernardino34237487
San Diego30516568
Kern21433152
Fresno15945157
Alameda12136193
San Joaquin12034187
Santa Clara11030192
Sacramento10174148
Tulare10078193
Imperial9513232
Stanislaus9308135
Contra Costa8324131
Ventura787777
San Francisco708162
Santa Barbara652664
San Mateo5758120
Marin518076
Monterey496634
Merced458351
Kings445356
Solano380638
Sonoma320842
Madera211432
Placer199819
San Luis Obispo197016
Yolo161442
Santa Cruz11964
Butte10128
Napa10079
Sutter8406
San Benito6894
El Dorado6681
Lassen6320
Yuba5334
Shasta4049
Colusa3594
Glenn3462
Mendocino3419
Nevada3161
Tehama2491
Humboldt2454
Lake2111
Mono1461
Tuolumne1442
Amador1370
Calaveras1361
Del Norte900
Siskiyou880
Inyo661
Mariposa592
Plumas330
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 59°
Brookings
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 62°
Crater Lake
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 48°
Grants Pass
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 55°
Klamath Falls
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 48°
Warming up into the weekend
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events