SANDY — Heidi Miller put the finishing touches on her family's annual contribution to the Festival of Trees Monday.
Ever since Miller's mother, Sherry Black, was found dead of an apparent murder, Heidi Miller has used the Festival of Trees to focus on doing something positive rather than wallow in sadness.
"I know I'm doing good. I know I'm helping other people by focusing on something positive. It takes my mind off of the bad, the hard. And I'm working with the people I love to most," she said at the South Towne Expo Center on Monday, the fifth anniversary of her mother's death.
"Every hour that I spent putting this (tree) together is filled with love for her."
But Miller also admitted that the last five years have not been easy.
On Nov. 30, 2010, Black, 64, the mother-in-law of former Larry H. Miller Group CEO Greg Miller, was found stabbed to death inside her bookstore, B&W Billiards and Books, 3466 S. 700 East. To date, there is no known motive for the killing, and police have not identified a suspect or a person of interest in the case.
"I think finding those answers would just be some closure. I'll never quit missing her, it won't bring her back. But it would close that chapter, and it would give us the comfort of knowing that the person that did that isn't out there and isn't going to harm another person and do this to another family," Heidi Miller said.
The only clues are an Armani Exchange men's belt that was left at the crime scene with a waist measurement of approximately 36-38 inches, and a sticker on the back of the buckle with the number "323." Detectives also found blood that DNA testing has determined came from a male.
But despite putting the DNA into a national database, there have been no matches after five years.
"The investigation of the Sherry Black murder is still ongoing and has never been considered a 'cold case,'" South Salt Lake police said in a prepared statement Monday. "Investigators have never let the case run cold, having gone back to the beginning and started over to make sure nothing has been overlooked. The case has been reviewed by different teams of investigators."
As Black's family waits for the day when the person responsible for her death is caught, Heidi Miller has found comfort in the Festival of Trees where all proceeds from the sale of their tree goes to Primary Children's Hospital.
"I needed something positive to focus on. And the festival is such a great way to honor her and her memory and the traditions that she taught us and just her love of Christmas," she said. "We were just such a close family. She always made Christmas special, and it just kind of rubbed off on me."
This year's tree from the Miller family is decorated in pink, Black's favorite color.
There is still a $50,000 reward offered by the Miller family for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Black's killer. Police pleaded with the public on Monday for anyone with information to step forward.
"If anyone has any information, no matter how obscure, maybe something you saw or heard, maybe something about the case you have wanted to talk with law enforcement about, please give us a call," said South Salt Lake police detective Gary Keller.
Anyone with information can call police at 801-840-4000.
The 2015 Festival of Trees runs Wednesday through Saturday at the South Towne Expo Center, 9575 State, Sandy.