‘Please remember their lives.’ Family waits for justice years after Kentucky mom, child slain

Samantha and Kathy Netherland
Samantha and Kathy Netherland Justice for Kathy and Samantha

The brutal killings of a Nelson County mother and daughter have not been solved after almost five years, but Kentucky State Police and family members cling to hope.

Kathy Netherland, 48, and her 16-year-old daughter, Samantha, were killed at around 8 p.m. April 21, 2014, and found at their home the next morning., police said. Kathy was shot several times and Samantha was beaten on her head, according to WAVE 3. Both of their necks were also slashed.

The mother was a special education teacher at Bardstown Elementary School and her daughter was a sophomore at Bardstown High School, where she was a member of the academic team, chorus and in the school’s Young Leaders Program, according to her obituary.

As the five-year anniversary of the deaths approached, Kentucky State Police on Wednesday released a statement from the family. Netherland family members said they are not giving up hope that justice will be served.

“Kathy and Samantha are so much more than the circumstances of their deaths,” the statement said. “Please remember their lives and the kindness ... they brought. Kathy and Samantha made the world a better place.”

The Netherland homicides were among several high-profile cases in Bardstown to go unsolved since 2013. Crystal Rogers, a mother of five, disappeared in 2015 and is thought to be dead. Her father, Tommy Ballard, died in 2016 of a gunshot wound while waiting in a field for his grandson. No arrests have been made in either case.

Before Ballard’s death and Rogers’ disappearance, Bardstown officer Jason Ellis was ambushed and killed in 2013.

When Oxygen Network was working on its show “The Disappearance of Crystal Rogers” last year, one of its reporters spoke to an anonymous inmate who claimed Kathy and Samantha Netherland were killed during a gang initiation.

“I know they was tortured. I know that they were tied to their chairs,” the inmate said. “I know that one of ‘em had her throat slit. They was stabbed, and one was shot. I know that trinkets were taken as trophies.”

State police searched for a black Chevrolet Impala, which was reportedly near the Bardstown home where the mother and daughter were found.

Those with information about the case were urged Wednesday to contact Kentucky State Police Post 4 in Elizabethtown at 270-766-5078.

Stacey Hibbard, Kathy’s sister, said Wednesday the misery the killer or killers caused is profound.

“If someone could understand that coming forward would give so much relief as well as justify Kathy and Samantha’s passing to some degree ... there’s nothing we wouldn’t do or give to know what happened and to have answers,” Hibbard said.