BARDSTOWN, KY (WAVE) - A family member of a Nelson County woman and her teenage daughter, both of whom were murdered in April, released an emotional statement to the public on Wednesday.
According to their death certificates, Kathy Netherland, 48, was shot multiple times, and her 16-year-old daughter Samantha was beaten in the head on April 21 at their home in the Botland community. Both of them suffered cuts to their necks.
Kathy's sister, Stacey Hibbard, said she wants the public to know what was taken from her and the rest of her family. She spoke about the last time she talked to her sister and niece and pleaded for anyone with even the smallest insight into what happened to them to come forward.
"This picture represents the last time I saw Samantha alive," Hibbard said of a photo showing her niece trying on her prom dress. Kathy texted the photo to Hibbard shortly before the murders. "Kathy's text was the last time I talked to her. Two days after Kathy and Samantha picked out her prom dress, they were dead."
Hibbard was one of the first family members on the scene after the bodies were found by another relative on April 22.
"Samantha fought for her life," Hibbard said, "and whoever killed her showed her no mercy."
Hibbard said Samantha's body was left broken and battered. She said the person who killed her was only slightly less cruel to Samantha's mother.
Kathy, a special education teacher at Bardstown Elementary School, and Samantha, a sophomore at Bardstown High School, were buried on the day Samantha was supposed to attend her prom.
"We buried Samantha in her prom dress," Hibbard said. "It seemed fitting that she should get to wear her pretty dress at least once."
Days after the murders, Kentucky State Police released a surveillance picture of the suspect's car -- a black, newer Chevrolet Impala. They have not been able to find the car or its driver.
"There are thousands of dark-colored Impalas in the DOT database just in the state of Kentucky," said Trooper Jeff Gregory, "and we've checked hundreds and hundreds of them."
Family members can only hope that someone will come forward with that one tip that will lead to an arrest.
"The reality is that a murderer walks free, possibly on the same street as you," Hibbard said.
The victims' family has set up a reward fund for information leading to an arrest in this case. Right now, the reward stands at $2,500. Anyone with information that could help investigators solve this case, should call Kentucky State Police.