Sherry Black Foundation

The Sherry Black Foundation was created in 2017 by Heidi and Greg Miller as a way to share knowledge that they gained out of tragedy after the violent murder of Heidi’s mother, Sherry.

Heidi and Greg found themselves using all available resources to help solve the crime along with law enforcement. This took them on a journey of identifying existing skilled professionals, investigative tools, and finding gaps in our justice system that would end up leading them on a journey of advocacy.

Starting the foundation was also a way for them to find light in the darkest of moments. By serving others, it continues to help them process their overwhelming grief and give hope to not only themselves, but to other families facing similar circumstances.

In their search for answers, they met Patrick Zirpoli and Richard Walter via the Vidocq Society and realized that their advanced skills, and those of others like them, could benefit the law enforcement community. This resulted in the development of the 3-day symposiums that the foundation continues to host across the country. The Millers felt the need to bridge the gap between the investigative skills of specialists with those of local law-enforcement agencies that may not have the staff or budget to gain knowledge needed to solve some violent crimes.

In addition, the Millers realized the importance of law enforcement’s access to the DNA sampling commonly used in CODIS. A full DNA profile is not necessary to match forensic evidence to individuals. With “sampling” only a very small portion of genetic information is retained and analyzed. This ensures the protection that those unsure of the privacy of the process are looking for.

Heidi and Greg are taking this knowledge and supporting other organizations in our communities who are promoting access to law enforcement if and when DNA would be helpful in solving violent crimes. In 2014 they used their local resources to help the DNA Saves organization approach the state of Utah to pass legislation that allows for obtaining DNA samples from all persons arrested for felonies in Utah.

The resulting focus of the SBF is to support the hard-working individuals and criminal justice agencies in their unending quest to keep our communities safe by reducing some redundant gaps and barriers that many law enforcement and related agencies face while working to investigate and solve violent crimes.