Posted: Jan 9, 2013 7:48 AM by Angela Douglas
Updated: Jan 9, 2013 7:54 AM
SIDNEY - Monday marked the one year anniversary of the day Sherry Arnold, 43, was abducted and murdered. It was a crime that devastated the Sidney community and left her family and husband reeling.
"We were accustomed to saying, 'Good night dear, love you, see you in the morning,' and then we'd kiss each other or the kiss came first sometimes," recalled Sherry's husband of more than 13 years, Gary. "I was reminiscing about the final words we had with one another. It was, 'night, see you in the morning, love you.' and a kiss and then we went to bed."
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That was last time Gary spoke to his wife. The next morning, January 7 2012, she went out for a jog and never returned. Her body was later found in a shallow grave east of Williston, North Dakota.
The two men accused of abducting and murdering the Sidney school teacher are set to be tried in the case at the end of this year and in the beginning of 2014.
"It's been a very difficult process," Gary admitted, with a heavy heart. "It was extended, of course, because we didn't know where Sherry was for so very long. When we finally found Sherry and were able to bury her with dignity, it meant a great deal to the family. There was almost a delayed grieving reaction because of that, it slowed things down."
It was nearly three months before Sherry's body was returned home. Her funeral drew in thousands; her family and friends consumed with grief. But it was the support of the tight-knit community that made the past year bearable.
"I don't know if there's a speed at which grief can cooer, but it's been slow and hard," said Gary. "I live in a community that has been so supportive. My friends, my family, Sherry's relatives, they've all been so wonderful. It's a good community and it's a good state."
It has been a long and difficult road, but on the one year anniversary of his wife's death, Gary can now appreciate those routine, but meaningful final words they shared.
"If the events that transpired had to be," said Gary. "That's a pretty good good-bye to have."