No arrests one year after Winston-Salem woman dies in violent attack

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — The family of a woman who was brutally beaten is still searching for answers a year later.

Ella Crawley, who was homeless, died last May following a violent attack in Winston-Salem.

“Whoever done this that they won’t get any rest. That you won’t be able to lay your head down at night. That you won’t be able to sleep,” said Douglas Myers, Crawley’s brother-in-law.

A stranger found Crawley close to death near a walking path in Gateway Commons Park on May 23, 2020. Police say she was beaten and strangled. She died the following day from her injuries.

“Why would someone become that enraged at this little lady that you could visibly see was not OK?” said Melissa Myers, Crawley’s sister.

The Myers say 50-year-old Crawley struggled with mental illness and had stopped taking her medication. No matter how hard they tried to get her help, she ended up back on the street.

“She was a churchgoer. I mean she went to family reunions; she was very functional in society until she went off her meds. She didn’t have to be gone right now. This could have been prevented,” Douglas Myers said.

Shortly after Crawley’s homicide, officers canvassed neighborhoods close by on West Northwest Boulevard for information on the attack. Since last year, police have struggled to develop leads.

“The longer that we are without information that is going to lead us in the right direction, this case is growing colder, and we don’t want it to lie dormant for any amount of time. We want to be able to follow up and investigate,” said Asst. Chief Natoshia Miles, with the Winston-Salem Police Department.

The Myers are hoping and praying the Lord will provide a clue to help police track down her killer.

“I love you and I wish I could have helped you. I wish I could have helped you more,” Melissa Myers said.

Winston-Salem police say getting information has been tough. They need the community’s help in solving this case. They want to remind everyone you share information anonymously through Crime Stoppers or the Text-A-Tip program.

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