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Sisters plead for public's help to catch their mother's killer

Published: Sunday, Oct. 28 2012 10:08 p.m. MDT

Candice Slaugh, left, and Cathlynn Gardiner talk about their mother, who was murdered in her home in October 2011.

Geoff Liesik, Geoff Liesik, Deseret News

TOOELE — Candice Slaugh and Cathlynn Gardiner get very emotional when they talk about their mother.

Evelynne Derricott, 70, was found dead a year ago in her home. Now, her daughters hope that speaking about her death will help find her killer.

"I was shocked," Gardiner said while weeping. "It's like I couldn't even think. I didn't cry at first because I was in shock."

"She was generous," Slaugh said with tears in her eyes. "She would do things for people. If it was within her power to do it, she was willing to do it."

Derricott did not answer the door of her home at 410 Havasu Drive when a friend knocked Oct. 7, 2011, so the friend went inside and found her dead.

"The injuries to the body indicated that she was murdered," Tooele Police Lt. Paul Wimmer said.

Tooele police believe she came home to find a burglar in her house. Her car and cellphone were stolen and abandoned in Kearns near 5300 West and 5800 South. Police believe answers still remain in that neighborhood.

"I think there is a Kearns tie," Wimmer said. "It would be very random to dump it in the middle of the neighborhood. I think they either have acquaintances or they themselves are from the Kearns area."

Police don't have a suspect, but they do have an important piece of evidence: DNA. Both women are hoping for the day a match is found.

"One thing is I worry that he's still out there," Slaugh said. "They haven't caught him. Is somebody going to be next? Is it somebody else's mom or grandmother?"

"I can't call her or she can't call me," Gardiner said, weeping. "I know she is looking over us. She is there for everything that happens in our lives, but it's not the same as having her here."

Police say her killing is one of the most significant crimes committed in Tooele in more than a decade, and it's on the forefront of officers' minds.

"This is a mother that was killed that has a family, loving daughters to live for," Wimmer said. "I think … everyone in the city is bothered by that."

There's not a burglary that occurs in the city that police don't wonder if it was the same person responsible for Derricott's murder, he added.

Slaugh and Gardiner say one of the hardest parts about losing their mother is explaining to their children what happened.

"They were in tears," Slaugh said. "How can you explain to somebody when they're graduating or when they get married that she won't be there when they do have an achievement or accomplishment?"

They say they want to know what was going on in the suspect's life that would cause him to kill their mother.

"I felt sorry for him, and I still feel sorry for him, but I think they need to answer for what they did. They can't hide forever," Slaugh said. "You think after a while you get used to it, get over it, but somebody out there knows something. Even if it's just a small detail, they still know something."

"We don't have any idea what piece of evidence or piece of information is going to blow it wide open," Wimmer said. "We really think we are a single tip away or a single DNA hit away from being able to move aggressively and close this one out."

Police ask anyone with information about Derricott's death to call 435-882-5600.

Email: spark@ksl.com

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