Unsolved Murder: One Year Later

By: Philip Stewart Email
By: Philip Stewart Email

February 22, 2007

Thursday was an emotional day for Katherine Howard's family. One year after Howard was shot and killed it was still difficult for the family to hold back the tears when they talked about the sister and daughter they say they miss so much.

"(She was) beautiful. I mean, just fun," said Michael Howard, Katherine's brother.

"she was just like her daddy," said Don Howard, Katherine's father as he tried to hold back tears.

To this day, no one has been charged for the crime.

"It's been hell," said Don Howard. "I mean you try to keep it outside, but inside it's just tearing me up."

Authorities found Katherine shot to death, struck in the back, beside her car in Gordonsville, along Cadmus Drive, just after midnight on February 22, 2006.

Weeks later in Culpeper, authorities located a van that matched a description of similar vehicle speeding away from the crime scene. But since that van went to a forensics lab in Northern Virginia, next to no new information has been released, and not one suspect named.

"I don't know if they're any closer than they were the first day," said Don Howard. "That's what hurts the most, because I just don't know. I don't think that anybody who does something like this should be able to walk the street. Somebody knows what happened, somebody knows."

Katherine's brother, Michael, helped organize a fundraiser to raise money for a reward for information leading to an arrest in the case. It stands at $7,000, but so far no one has come forward.

"This was a sad day in our life a year ago and there's still work to be done. We need to keep attention alive about it," said Michael Howard.

To protect the integrity of the case, authorities would only say they have 'persons of interest' in the case. That's why Katherine's family is urging anyone with information to call the Orange County Sheriff's Office at (540) 672-1200.

The family said a lead in the case could bring some of the closure they say they need.

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