The case against Jerry Anderson
Emily Griffit Anderson was reported missing by her husband Jerry on Dec. 29, 2005, after she did not show up for a dinner engagement with friends. Nine days later, her Chevrolet Silverado truck was found in a parking lot between a Waffle House and a Quality Inn hotel in Duncan, S.C., just off Interstate 85, following an anonymous phone call — later traced back to Dallas, Texas — to the Waffle House with information about the vehicle. The truck was brought back to Caldwell County that day by deputies with the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office. Emily’s body was found inside a toolbox in the truck bed as investigators processed the vehicle. Anderson was arrested and charged with first-degree murder on Jan. 27, and was held without bond in the Caldwell County Detention Center.
The case was moved to Gastonia in January of 2007, and the trial began that May. After jurors deadlocked 11-1 in favor of acquittal, Superior Court Judge David Cayer declared a mistrial and gave Anderson a $150,000 bond. Anderson, under court order, lived with friends in the Sawmills community.
In December of 2007, the District Attorney’s office for the 25th Prosecutorial District dismissed all charges against Anderson without prejudice, meaning he could be re-tried if further evidence showing culpability surfaced. The DA’s office had sought the death penalty against Anderson, a dairy farmer who owned Carolina Holsteins and operated a farm with his wife Emily.
In January 2010, Anderson filed a civil suit in the against the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office – including Sheriff Alan Jones and additional current and former employees – in the U.S. District Court in Buncombe County. According to the 47-page complaint, Anderson sought monetary damages for violations to his Constitutional and civil rights. The document claimed that the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office ignored the findings of the state medical examiner as to the approximate date of Emily Anderson’s death and engaged in the fabrication, contamination and destruction of evidence.
Representatives with the Sheriff’s Office said the search for Emily’s killer would continue after the charges were dropped against Jerry Anderson, but after five years, a small community and a widower still are looking for closure and the answers to many questions.