The police arrived on the scene as soon as Jill Walker discovered her daughter unconscious in her bedroom. The evidence that quickly transformed the first notion of suicide to murder. The Investigation Discovery documentary “Death of a Cheerleader” recounts how Emma Walker’s turbulent relationship came to an untimely end. So, if you’re interested in learning more about this case, we can help.
How Did Emma Walker Die?
Emma Jane Walker was born in March 2000, and she and her family were residents of Knoxville, Tennessee. The 16-year-old was characterised as a cheerful, kind individual with a lovely grin. Emma attended Central High School in Knoxville and participated in the cheerleading squad there. She loved animals and wanted to work with newborns when she was older. Emma appeared to have a promising future ahead of her.
On November 21, 2016, at around six in the morning, Emma’s mother Jill went to get her daughter ready for school. She received no response, though. The panicked mother dialled 911 when Jill realised she couldn’t feel her pulse. Emma was in her bed when the police arrived. Two bullet holes were found in the bedroom walls after a thorough inspection of the space. Emma had a bullet buried in the pillow and a gunshot wound behind her left ear. Authorities discovered 9mm round casings outside the home, and at around 2:30 AM, a neighbour claimed to have heard gunfire.
Who Killed Emma Walker?
One name came up constantly when Emma’s loved ones were questioned by the police. William Riley Gaul was there. Emma started dating Riley, a junior wide receiver for the school football team, while she was a freshman in 2014. When friends realised that they were fighting often, the relationship quickly started to change. They split up multiple times before getting back together. Additionally, Riley was described as being possessive and domineering by some who knew the pair.
Riley would allegedly try to dictate what Emma could and couldn’t wear, according to Jill. Other times, he waited for hours in front of Emma’s place of business. Riley allegedly sent Emma abusive messages as well, at one point predicting that he would see her name in the obituary, according to acquaintances. Due to Riley’s troubling behaviour, Emma’s parents sought to limit the amount of time she spent talking to him and urged her to end the relationship. However, the union persisted.
Riley was a college freshman in the fall of 2016, while Emma was in her junior year. In an effort to make things better, Emma’s parents grounded her on Halloween. Emma ultimately made the decision to permanently stop her relationship with Riley. He didn’t take that well, though, and attempted suicide by mixing booze and Vicodin. The days preceding Emma’s murder were also filled with a few peculiar occurrences.
Emma received some concerning messages from an unidentified number while she was visiting a friend’s home on November 18, 2016. The texts warned that if she didn’t follow instructions, someone close to her would suffer harm. She finally received a message letting her know Riley was outside. He was discovered by Emma and a companion in a ditch, where he made the kidnapping claim. But no one ever called the cops. Noah Walton, a friend of his, didn’t think Riley had been kidnapped.
Emma was worried that someone in black would continuously ring her doorbell and knock on her door the following morning. Riley was then requested to stop by for assistance. Riley may have been involved in both of the incidents, Jill thought. Riley grabbed his grandfather’s 9mm gun from him because he thought someone was chasing Emma and him, according to Riley’s buddies, who also told the investigators this information.
Riley denied taking the gun and denied any involvement in Emma’s killing when questioned by the police. Riley had inquired as to how he might get fingerprints off a gun, according to another person who spoke with the police. Authorities started to suspect Emma’s ex-boyfriend more and more. Then, Alex and Noah, two of his buddies, assisted the police in placing Riley under custody. They accompanied him while he was wearing a wire because he needed help getting rid of the gun. Riley was detained as he attempted to throw the gun into a river.
Where is William Riley Gaul Now?
The murder weapon, some black clothing, gloves, and other items were all inside Riley’s garbage bag. He was allegedly the mysterious stranger who knocked on Emma’s door just before she passed away, according to the police. In May 2018, Riley went on trial for the murder. He didn’t intend to murder Emma, according to the defence; he just wanted to scare her. Riley was convicted of first-degree murder, stalking, theft, reckless endangerment, and possession of a firearm during a serious felony when he was 19 years old.
Riley was subsequently given a life sentence with a 51-year parole eligibility. During the sentence process, he apologised to Emma’s parents for taking Emma from them and depriving them of the opportunity to watch their daughter mature. I can only speak the truth about that evening. I desired to frighten her. I never intended to kill Emma. Once more, I’m sorry. Riley is still detained at the Tiptonville, Tennessee, Northwest Correctional Complex.
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