© 2024 NPR Illinois
The Capital's Community & News Service
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Illinois woman finds peace through forgiveness after daughter’s murder

Alisha Bromfield and Sherry Anicich
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 news editor and equity and justice beat reporter for NPR Illinois, where she has been on the staff since 2014 after Illinois Issues magazine’s merger with the station. She joined the magazine’s staff in 1998 as projects editor and became managing editor in 2003. Prior to coming to the University of Illinois Springfield, she was an education reporter and copy editor at three local newspapers, including the suburban Chicago Daily Herald, She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s degree in English from UIS.
Related Stories