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Family and Friends Mourn Death of Kidnapped Harlem Mom

By  Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska and Gustavo Solis | December 11, 2013 2:46pm 

 Dozens gathered at Sheryl Outerbridge’s funeral in Harlem.
Family and Friends Mourn Kidnapped Harlem Mom As “Loving” Person
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HARLEM — Family and friends turned out Wednesday for an emotional funeral of a mother of three, who died after being kidnapped and beaten, in Jamaica last week, allegedly by a married couple with whom she was in an abusive relationship.

Sheryl Outerbridge, 38, was remembered as a "loving person" by friends and family members who gathered at Unity Funeral Chapels Fredrick Douglass Boulevard.

"I can't believe she's gone, I miss her," said Olivia Colbert, 36, who was one of Outerbridge's best friends since she was 15. "She treated me like her little sister. We used to go everywhere together. She was a very nice and loving person."

Last week, police arrested Devonnee Wilkerson, 32 and charged her with kidnapping resulting in a death and assault with the intent of causing physical injury with a weapon for the horrific Dec. 3 incident.

They are still looking for Malik Wilkerson, 33, Devonnee Wilkerson's husband, who police believe may also played a role in Outerbridge's death.

Outerbridge, who was expected to be buried Wednesday afternoon at Mount Rest Cemetery in Butler, N.J., told her friends that she was abused by Malik Wilkerson, her boyfriend, for two years before her death, friends said.

She also told them that she wanted to end the abusive relationship.

"The last time I seen her was a couple of weeks ago and she said she wanted to leave the relationship and get her life back together," said Lashawn Rawlins, 43, who lives in Outerbridge's apartment building and has known her for 20 years.

"I'm happy she doesn't have to go through the pain (of the relationship) any more,” Rawlins added.

Outerbridge had stayed for weeks at a time at Wilkerson's home in South Jamaica, police sources and neighbors said.

On Dec. 2, the Harlem woman left the couple’s apartment on 116th Road and went to the Sutphin Boulevard-Archer Avenue subway station, but the married couple abducted her and brought her back to their apartment, according to Devonnee Wilkerson's criminal complaint.

There the couple allegedly repeatedly hit Outerbridge in the head and body with their fists and a paint roller extension pole. The couple also smashed a glass bottle on her forehead and burned her with a cigarette, prosecutors said.

The next morning, the couple and another man took Outerbridge in a livery cab to Jamaica Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said.

Malik Wilkerson and the other man left after dropping the victim at the hospital, while Devonnee Wilkerson stayed.