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Illinois woman finds peace through forgiveness after daughter’s murder

Sherry Anicich
Alisha Bromfield and Sherry Anicich

Ten years ago this month, Oswego resident Sherry Anicich’s 21-year-old pregnant daughter, Alisha Bromfield, was murdered and then raped.

Anicich said she learned through faith to forgive the killer, Brian Cooper, who was Bromfield’s supervisor at Home Depot stores in northern Illinois.

“In August, I don't plan anything because I already know how I'm gonna feel even though it's 10 years. I still feel like this heaviness and sadness,’’ she said.

Now, she strives to honor her daughter’s memory — and the lost chance to meet a granddaughter who had already been named Ava Lucille — through speaking engagements and the foundation she and her husband Joe founded.

The organization, named The Purple Project, was created in honor of Bromfield’s favorite color. It provides financial and emotional support to single young mothers in need and grief counseling and retreats for parents who have lost children.

Information about the foundation and an event Anicich is hosting in September is at www.purpleproject.org

(Note: An earlier version stated Bromfield and Cooper were employed by Lowe's stores.)

Maureen Foertsch McKinney is lead editor of Illinois Issues' feature articles, working with freelance writers, and covering the equity beat. Maureen joined the Illinois Issues in 1998 as projects editor. Previously, she worked at three Illinois daily newspapers, most recently the suburban Chicago-based Daily Herald, where she served stints as an education reporter and copy editor. She graduated in 1985 with a bachelor's in journalism. She also has a master's degree in English from the University of Illinois at Springfield.
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