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Woman loses mother, daughter in fatal shooting at NHK Seating factory

FRANKFORT, Ind. (WISH) — After the fatal shooting of a grandmother and granddaughter Wednesday at a NHK Seating of America plant, family and friends talked about the lives lost.

I-Team 8 on Thursday spoke to the woman who is the mother of Promise Mays, 21, who is also the daughter of Pamela Sledd, 62. They were shot and killed outside of the NHK factory west of Frankfort just off I-65 at State Road 28. It’s one of two NHK factories in Clinton County, with the other in the city of Frankfort.

Penny Anes said lost two of the most important people in her life and the heartbreak is just starting to set in.

“I have my moments when I’m fine. I haven’t really grasped the reality yet,” said Anes as she and her husband, Dennis, sat surrounded by family.

Anes said, “My mom was a wonderful woman. She loved her grandkids, loved me and family.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Anes knew something horrible happened at NHK. In the pit of her stomach, she knew either her mother or daughter were involved. Sledd had been with the company for a couple years, and her granddaughter earlier this year was hired there. When neither of them answered phone calls or texts, Anes feared the worst. 

“I called their cellphones and a couple of text messages, you know, and I see where people were being released to call their families and everything, and I didn’t get any of those from them but didn’t want to believe it until I got notification and that came later in the evening,” Anes said. 

Sledd and Mays often rode to work together. Police say that was the case Wednesday.

The two ate lunch and took breaks together, Penny says. They were two peas in a pod.

“They were the most fun-loving, caring two people I have ever been blessed to have in my life, and they would have done anything for anybody. They also brighten your day. They always gave words of encouragement. Promise lit up the room, and my mom was always happy and positive. They were wonderful,” Anes said.

Mays has been living with her boyfriend Cadon Deardorff for almost two years. It was phone call from a friend that brought the news to him, that the love of his life had been shot.

“A phone call from a guy at the other factory saying that a bunch of people, saying they think that Promise might have gotten shot,“ Deardorff said. 

The couple was starting to talk about their future together. Now, he can’t image a life without her. One of the last pictures in his phone is of the two them early one morning.

“It is going to be quite some time before I can even think about moving on,” Deardorff said. 

The suspect, Gary C. Ferrell II, 26, of Frankfort, was being held Thursday in the Clinton County jail.

The sheriff nor the prosecutor issued new statements Thursday, although it’s possible Ferrell could be in court Friday.