Cheryl's Story

Cheryl Renee Goldsby

August 27, 1959 to January 12, 2000


Published: 2000-01-13

A 40-year-old woman who had just returned from a trip to Florida to be at the birth of her first grandchild was found beaten and stabbed to death inside her Lawndale home early yesterday, authorities said.

About an hour after the discovery, police arrested her former boyfriend after he crashed her car on a Center City street. He was charged last night with murder and related offenses.

Police called to a rowhouse in the 6400 block of Bingham Street in the Northeast at 2:36 a.m. found the body of Cheryl Goldsby, who on Sunday had returned home from visiting her oldest daughter in Florida. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Goldsby's belongings were scattered across a blood-soaked living-room carpet, and her body was found in a second-floor hallway, police said.

About 3:40 a.m., police investigating an accident at 22d and Vine Streets, where a 1995 Mazda hit a guardrail, arrested Clay Caldwell, 36, of the 1700 block of North Bailey Street.

Caldwell was driving the Mazda, which belonged to Goldsby, police said. Police said Caldwell had paid a visit to his former girlfriend just before she was killed. Neighbors said Caldwell appeared to have lived at Goldsby's house for much of last year.

Recently, Goldsby was living alone, said Norman Rowan, 54, who lives two doors down from Goldsby's house. Goldsby, who moved into the neighborhood two years ago, had two daughters and one son, Rowan said. She held two jobs, one driving a van to transport mentally challenged adults and the other working at a home for disadvantaged boys at night.

Before Christmas, Goldsby and the Rowans exchanged gifts. She gave them a baby photo album made of pewter. The Rowans gave her a decorative candle made of crystal.

"The woman was the nicest woman," Norman Rowan said. "She talked in my home. She ate in my home." Norman Rowan Jr., 17, said he heard a door slam just before 10 p.m. Tuesday - a few hours before Goldsby was found dead. He looked outside and saw Goldsby go out to her Mazda and open a back door, possibly to get something.

She returned to her house and slammed the door, Norman Rowan Jr. said. The Rowans said they heard banging noises later but thought they were caused by the wind.

* Inquirer staff writer Thomas J. Gibbons Jr. contributed to this article.

© Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)

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