Bardstown double-murder case remains unsolved

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - A mother and daughter brutally murdered, and the case is still unsolved. Police say Kathy and Samantha Netherland were killed on April 21. They were attacked - left for dead - and discovered the next day. 

"The last time I was here, there were police cars and police tape," said Kathy's sister Stacey Hibbard upon returning to the house.

She hasn't gone inside since the murders. "I pulled into the driveway. My father is who found them, and ya know, he was obviously in a lot of distress and said, ya know, 'They're gone and somebody did something terrible to them.'" 

Hibbard says 16-year-old Samantha was beaten, her throat slashed, and Kathy was shot. 

"To be as just completely brutal as they were to Samantha, you can't imagine that somebody just said, 'Oh, let's go do that," Hibbard said when asked if she believes the murders were random. 

Samantha was a sophomore at Bardstown High School when she was killed. Her mom was a special education teacher at Bardstown Elementary. Hibbard says Kathy would have turned 49 on Sunday. 

"I truly never envisioned a world in which she didn't exist," Hibbard said. 

Family photos show the Netherlands during happier times. Hibbard says Kathy's husband Bob lost his battle with colon cancer before Kathy and Samantha's lives were taken - leaving behind Samantha's sister Holly. 

"You just couldn't imagine two more benign, decent, kind people who truly did nothing bad to anyone else," Hibbard said.

The Netherland's home is just outside of Bardstown along Springfield Road. Police say they were killed at around 8 p.m. that night.

"Kathy and Samantha were not together when they passed away," Hibbard said. "They were in different rooms, which would indicate to me that it seems like it was two people. But they both were tiny, tiny, little people."

Hibbard also says it appears nothing was taken from the home. Prescriptions and electronics were left behind. Kentucky State Police have released few details about the case but they believe they know the killer's car - a black Chevy Impala captured on surveillance video. 

"This crime can be solved," Hibbard said. "It's not that they have nothing. It's that they have a common car that they can't track down." 

It's been more than four months now. As the investigation continues, family members want to make sure Kathy and Samantha aren't forgotten.

"For Samantha, we've started a scholarship that will be a scholarship awarded to a Bardstown High School student who graduates each year to be a student who embodies a lot of the traits that Samantha did," Hibbard said. 

Hibbard says Samantha volunteered, loved animals, cared about other people and had a passion for singing - a daughter that made her mother proud. 

"Knowing the type of person that Kathy was, she would have wanted something for her girls before she would have ever wanted something for herself," she said. 

Still, not knowing what happened inside those walls has weighed heavily on loved ones. 

"That's the thing that keeps you awake for days and weeks and what not," Hibbard said. 

And their killer, or killers, still walk free. 

"In my heart, I feel like it probably was somebody they opened the door to and had no idea that they were opening the door to something that was evil, brutal, vicious, unkind. The complete opposite of them."

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Kentucky State Police Post 4 in Elizabethtown at 270-766-5078. 

You can donate to the "Samantha Grace Netherland Memorial Scholarship Fund" at Wilson and Muir Bank and Trust Company in Bardstown. 

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