Mother of Arnita Cheatham Speaks Out About Murder

Amherst Co., VA - There is still no sign of the person of interest in a murder at the Executive Inn in Amherst County.

Investigators found Arnita Cheatham's body Friday, one day shy of her 42nd birthday.

According to family, Arnita is the youngest of four kids and was living in Norfolk. She had traveled home to celebrate her birthday when tragedy struck.

"I just can't take it. I haven't eaten in three days, I don't have an appetite. I don't drink I don't do nothing but just cry. Why did you kill my baby?" Mable Johns, Arnita Cheatham's Mother, said.

The family of Arnita Cheatham says they're shocked, but not surprised.

"If I would have had a gun, and they could have had him in shackles, and handcuffs, I would have blown his brains out at that moment," Johns said.

The family believes Cheatham was murdered by her estranged husband Sylvester Cheatham, who they say was very controlling.

Family says Arnita's husband had a history of stalking, and that Arnita woke up Wednesday morning to the sound of him banging on her window.

Sylvester Cheatham had just been released from jail a few days prior.

Family says Arnita Cheatham, who went by the nickname 'BaBa', was trying to get her husband to sign divorce papers after 22 years of marriage, but he refused.

The family says on Wednesday night, Sylvester told Arnita to meet her at the Executive Inn motel, and he'd go ahead and sign the papers.

According to investigators, Arnita was found Friday with blunt force injuries to her head.

"When he hit her, she threw her hand up and it broke her fingers, and when she broke her fingers, she couldn't do nothing for herself. She couldn't help herself and they say whatever the object was, he just took it and beat her and beat her and beat her until he beat her to death," Johns said, crying.

Every bone in Arnita's face was broken, according to family.

"All he had to do was put his name down there and he killed her, he just killed her," Johns said, crying. "I can't say no more, I can't say no more."

The family also said because Arnita Cheatham's car is missing, so are her keys. There's a key to her family's home on the key ring. Tuesday, family was busy changing locks to protect themselves.

Cheatham's funeral is scheduled for Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Appomattox. It is open to the public.