Candice Cockerham Murder: Where is Richard Ellerbee Now? – “Evil Lives Here” is an American true crime documentary television series on Investigation Discovery that debuted on January 17, 2016. Each episode of this 60-minute true crime program features an interview with a member of the murderer’s family.
‘Evil Lives Here: The Monster Inside Him‘ on Investigation Discovery details the sad death of Candice Cockerham, 17, in Jonesville, North Carolina, in November 2002. The incident serves as a reminder of how domestic abuse victims can occasionally be rendered unsafe by the nation’s court and law enforcement systems, allowing abusers to get away with it.
The teen girl’s passing was necessary to open the door for her mother to challenge the state legislature and file a negligence lawsuit against the city police. We can provide you with more information, including the perpetrator’s identification. So let’s investigate it, shall we?
Candice Cockerham’s Cause of Death
Vernetta Cockerham and Kevin Baker welcomed Candice Willina Cockerham into the world on August 18, 1985, in Jonesville, Yadkin County, North Carolina. When she was 6 years old, her mother and father got divorced, and she and her mother returned from Paterson, New Jersey, to Jonesville. Candice was one of the few African-American students at Starmount High School in rural North Carolina, but she was also a very friendly teenager who had no trouble making friends.
The 17-year-old, a senior at Starmount High, had a meeting scheduled with an army recruiter because she wanted to serve her nation. For Candice to prepare for her upcoming interview, her mother dropped her off at the library on November 19, 2002. But that day, the police discovered her dead in the downstairs bedroom of the house she shared with her mother and two stepbrothers in central Jonesville.
Heavy duct tape had been used to cover Candice’s mouth and nose, and an electrical line looped over her neck had also been reinforced with duct tape. She had been violently battered and choked, her jeans torn down, her hands and feet bound. According to the autopsy report, she died from asphyxiation and physical force trauma.
Who Killed Candice Cockerham?
The police did not need to look for the murderer because they already knew who he was—stepfather, Candice’s Richard Ellerbee, a carpenter who formerly dated Kevin’s sister in Paterson. A few years after Vernetta and Candice relocated to Jonesville, Richard also moved there, and the two began dating. In 2001, the two were married. Vernetta quickly learned that Richard struggled with his temper and had a history of abusing and beating her. Rashieq and Dominiq are the names of the two kids she had with Richard.
According to rumors, Vernetta decided against having more kids after having difficulties giving birth to Candice. Vernetta had filed multiple complaints against Richard due to a bombardment of physical abuse, but each time he got off easy. Furthermore, she had a restraining order against him because he had harassed her at work and followed her about town. Nevertheless, despite the restraining order, Richard persisted in harassing Vernetta. She said Richard broke into her house, left ominous notes, and repeatedly called to harass and threaten her.
According to Vernetta, Richard dug graves for her and her children across the street from her house. Despite her repeated accusations to the police, Richard was never kept behind bars for an extended period of time and was always released on bond. However, Vernetta was eventually relieved to learn that he would be jailed on November 12, 2002, due to numerous complaints against his name. She was horrified to see that Candice had already left for home when she went to pick up her kid from the library.
When Vernetta arrived at the property via car, she was startled to see her ex-keys’ husband hanging from the lock, and the door left ajar. Richard stumbled at her with a knife as she sprinted for the door. Before she could escape and rush for the Jonesville police station near her home, Richard had already assaulted, cut, and strangled her. Vernetta collapsed in front of the entryway, and the officers immediately attended to her while sending others to her house. Richard was not present when Candice Cockerham’s body was found.
How Did Richard Ellerbee Die?
According to police investigations, a neighbor said that Richard Ellerbee was last seen carrying a paper bag and racing down the street. Before heading north toward New Jersey, Richard stopped at a convenience store. He was observed buying an empty gas can from a Kmart shop and filling it up at a neighboring gas station on November 22, 2002.
The police reported that Richard moved on to a gazebo in Paterson’s Eastside Park, where he drenched himself in the can and started a fire. Two young males witnessed the act and called the police to report it. When police arrived at the site, they discovered Richard’s burning body; who was in his mid-40s at the time.