Brittany showing off her pregnant belly. She would name the baby, Zeke.
Brittany and her family.
One year ago, 25 year-old Brittany Eldridge was murdered.
She was eight-and-a-half months pregnant when her mother found her body inside her apartment.
There has been no arrest in the case and the family still grieves, while police still work diligently to catch the person or persons responsible.
Her mother, Robin Owens wants to wake up, "It was like a living nightmare. I didn't think it was happening and I still don't think it's happening. It still doesn't seem real at all."
She can't believe the last twelve months are considered reality. She explained, "It's been pure agony, really. It's been hard, mad, full of grief and sadness."
December 13th, 2011 Robin Owens found her daughter dead inside her Cross Creek Apartment. What transpired after that is a year's worth of unanswered questions, anger, and prayer.
"I've been really mad," said Brittany's brother, Jeff Sherwood, "I've been really angry. It's really difficult to handle a situation like this. Your anger just wants to take control and you lose all rationality."
For Jeff, life and college, has been on hold. With no arrest, he finds it hard to move on, especially at Christmas time, "It feels like all the joy is gone from Christmas without her here and it's become a real hard time to celebrate."
Celebrations are out of reach, for now. Always on their mind is Brittany and her unborn son, Zeke.
"Now he is gone, along with Brittany, and we are very sad about it," cried Owens.
Though it's been 365 days, the Knoxville Police Department says the case is not cold and they have not given up finding the suspect or suspects.
Darrell DeBusk, a Knoxville Police Department spokesman, said, "Our investigators have spent a lot of time on this case. They continue to spend a lot of time on this case. We keep meeting with the District Attorney sharing with them the information we have, the evidence that we have."
Investigators continue to wait for evidence which was sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. KPD feels confident there will be closure for this family, "I know it's difficult. I know the family would like the see an arrest. I know the friends of the victim would like to see an arrest and there is no one more who would like to see an arrest then our investigators who have spent a lot of time on this case," said DeBusk.
The family understands that these things take time. Still, it's taken a toll on their body and minds, "I am sorry," said Jeff, "I am just at a loss for words right now. It's just hard to find hope in a dark situation sometimes. The only hope we have is that we can make a difference."
That difference is the start of "The Brittany and Zeke Foundation," a teddy bear drive for kids at the East Tennessee Children's Hospital, and a 5-K walk in their memory.
The family is collecting teddy bears. You can drop them off at Victor Ashe Park. Also, on Friday, December 14th and Saturday, December 15th there will be a benefit concert called, "A Beary Rockin' Metal Xmas." All proceeds will go to the family's newly formed foundation to buy more teddy bears and to one day offer a scholarship in Brittany and Zeke's names at the University of Tennessee.
With Christmas just around the corner, the family struggles to find joy. They hope ten years from now that the joy is back and this nightmare is over.