Greg Miller's mother-in-law slain

12/1/2010 - NBA Utah Jazz Indiana Pacers + more

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah -- A day after the slaying of Utah Jazz executive Greg Miller's mother-in-law, detectives were collecting evidence Wednesday at the South Salt Lake book shop where she was found stabbed to death.

Police had no immediate suspects in the slaying of Sherry Black, 64, who was found by her husband Tuesday afternoon at their store, B&W Collector Books and Billiards Supply, said police Officer Gary Keller.

Miller and other family members huddled Wednesday with detectives, and they planned to discuss a possible reward for help solving the case, Jazz spokeswoman Linda Luchetti said.

The husband, Earl Black, isn't a suspect, Keller said.

Family members know of no reason anyone would want to hurt Sherry Black, said her brother, Jim Waycasy of Provo.

"She was just a great person, and her husband is in a state of shock," Waycasy, 68, told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "She built up that business over 40 years by herself, put herself through college while working."

Customers ring a bell at the book store, which calls Black from her house next door, Waycasy said. He said she was working alone when she was killed and it's possible an assailant planned a robbery. But "we don't know of anything that's missing," he said.

The Jazz observed a moment of silence before Wednesday's home game against the Indiana Pacers. A photo of Sherry Black was shown on the giant screen at Energy Solutions Arena, while public address announcer Dan Roberts asked fans to remember the victim's family after the "senseless act of violence."

The families did not plan to attend the game, Luchetti said. No funeral arrangements have been made.

"It's a terrible thing to have to deal with," Sloan said Wednesday. "Our hearts go out to the Miller family."

Miller is chief executive of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. He issued a statement calling the death of his mother-in-law "a senseless act of violence."

One of his team's stars, Deron Williams, had a similar reaction at a practice session Wednesday.

"This world we live in is messed up," Williams said. "Things like this shouldn't happen but they do. Everybody should be with their family."

Detectives were collecting forensic evidence at the Black's shop on a busy South Salt Lake street.

Sherry Black collected used books for sale, mostly Mormon texts and children's books. Earl Black sold billiard tables at the same shop, said a longtime friend of the couple, Steve Wagner.

Wagner said he was at a loss for a motive in the slaying.

"Greatest people on the planet, both of them," said Wagner, an electrician who shared rafting trips with the Blacks in Utah. "They were modest people. They didn't expect anything from their kids. They were happy."