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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Sherese Walker-Bingham didn’t have any children but she loved dogs, and they loved her back. They were by her side when she was murdered along the banks of the White River in 2012.

Two pets, and what they unexpectedly didn’t do that night, hold a key to the latest murder case profiled on Indy’s Unsolved.

“The last two dogs she had was two German Shepards,” said Keith Walker, brother of the slain woman. “They was nice dogs to her but to me they was vicious dogs because you really couldn’t go out and pet them without her.”

That’s what Indiana State Troopers learned on the night of December 12 more than three years ago when Walker-Bingham’s body was discovered near New York Street in the greenway along the river where she walked her dogs shortly after dark.

“They hampered a little bit of getting in there, the emergency services, too, because they were so protective of her and her body,” said ISP First Sgt. Rich Myers, who was there that night. “And they did stay with her no matter what, so, if somebody would have not known her and come up to her, they probably would have had the same outcome.”

Yet the dogs presumably didn’t attack their owner’s attacker, and that’s what stumped Keith Walker.

“No one could get close to her with them dogs,” said Walker.

Except his sister’s husband.

“Everybody knows that with the dogs, the only who get close to her was him,” said walker.

ISP detectives determined Walker-Bingham was shot to death with her own gun, which was discovered next to the body.

Suicide and accidental discharge were ruled out.

“She carried the gun in her pouch but the pouch was left at home,” said Walker, who recalled that investigators told him the killer was “somebody that knew her and was real close to her.”

Eventually, a man was arrested but the charges were later dropped after cell phone evidence proved inconclusive.

The man admitted his DNA would have been present on Walker-Bingham’s gun because he occasionally cleaned it.

“We know we charged the right person but we just need that little bit more of information,” said Myers. “Maybe after time things keep weighing on your mind or you talk to a person when you’re out or you learn something.”

Walker said his sister carried life insurance policies worth nearly a million dollars and he’s vowed to keep the settlement tied up in court as long as Sherese’s killer walks free.

“That’s a hard thing to hold onto. A guilty conscience. Not sleeping at night. He had to share with somebody,” said Walker. “I think he told somebody he’s close to now.”

Family ties, between humans and pets, were woven throughout the life and death of Sherese Walker-Bingham, and maybe the solution to her murder, too.

“Them dogs was real devoted to her,” said Walker of the animals that were destroyed because of their aggressive behavior. “They were very protective of her.”

Investigators are counting on someone who knows the killer, who heard him spill his guilt, to do the right thing and call Central Indiana Crimestoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.