Funeral arrangements set for murdered Nelson Co. mother and daughter

BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky State Police say the deaths of a mother and daughter in Nelson County is now being ruled a double homicide.

Investigators say, based on investigations and autopsies performed Wednesday morning, both deaths are being ruled as homicides. Their causes of death have not been released.

Police are asking anyone with cameras, including surveillance, located between the Botland community and Bardstown, that may have recorded video of Ky. 150 (Springfield Rd.), please contact KSP Post 4 at 270-766-5078.

Mary Rucker lives next door to the home. Investigators say a relative came to check on the girls after one of them failed to show for work.

"I just found the police man out back, there was a bunch of them," neighbor Rucker said. "I went out and asked, and they said they have a homicide going on here...She was a teacher and taught special needs kids," Rucker said.

Police say the victims did not die a natural death, and there were signs of trauma.

The family's church released a statement Wednesday, saying, "Obviously, we are heartbroken by this tragedy and we are concentrating on ministering to this family and many in our church family who are close to them. Kathy was a woman of sincere faith in Jesus Christ and selfless love for others. She worked tirelessly with children in our community in obedience to Jesus' command to serve the least of these. We grieve today over the loss of ones we loved, but we look to God. He is faithful. He can be trusted because He saves. And so we will look to Him. Because Kathy trusted in Christ for salvation, her death was tragic but it was not her end. Even as we mourn today, she is present with our Lord. Thanks so much for reaching out to us. Now please join us in praying for this family."

As Kentucky State Police work to figure out what happened inside the home where Kathy and Samantha Netherland were found dead yesterday, their school family is left trying to figure out how to say goodbye.

"For me very very shocking the realization that this had happened," said Bardstown Elementary School principal Paul Bowling.

Kathy Netherland had been a fifth-grade special education teacher for seven years. Her 16-year-old daughter Samantha was a student at the high school right next door.

" We're so close knit that everybody knew both of them," Bowling said.

State Police have ruled both deaths as homicides, but haven't released many more details. Inside Kathy's classroom, someone put sympathy flowers on her desk. With each minute that passes without answers about what happened, administrators say it gets tougher.

"I think when and if information can come forward we can begin to get some closure on the matter," said superintendent Brent Holsclaw.

Bowling says Kathy had just the right qualities to teach children.

"Energetic, happy-go-lucky," he said.

Her students made a poster to remember her.

"That really help them focus on all the good that she brought to our school," Bowling said.

School officials say Samantha was one of their brightest students. She was on the school's academic team. They say the future was bright for Samantha, and that makes her death even tougher.

"Samantha as we talked about, was on the way to Gatton Academy and just a wonderful student and was doing very well and had her whole life in front of her. They're both going to be sorely missed here at Bardstown City schools," said Holsclaw.

The superintendent said they just had a funeral for another student yesterday. He says it's a really tough time for the whole school family.

Funeral arrangements have been set for the victims. The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, April 28 at Parkway Baptist Church. Burial will be held at Bardstown Cemetery. Visitation is from 3-8 p.m. Sunday, April 27 and 8:30-11 a.m. Monday, April 28 the church.

Donations are asked to be made to Special Olympics of Kentucky, the KEA, and the Nelson County Humane Society.

Houghlin-Greenwell Funeral Home of Bardstown in charge of arrangements.

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