BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WHAS11)-- Students and staff within the Bardstown School District were among the many who stood in front of the Nelson County Justice Center Thursday evening to remember Kathy Netherland and her daughter Samantha.
The two were killed on April 21 at their Nelson County home. Police are still searching for the killer.
"Everybody in the community has really been in shock that this happened and I just felt like we all need to come together. It's just a tragic, tragic thing," Stacey Phelps, a Bardstown resident said.
A crowd of more than a hundred held purple and light blue balloons, Kathy and Samantha's favorite colors, and lit candles in their memory.
"It's just been a really big blow to our school and the high school," Rebecca Mudd, a Bardstown Elementary School teacher and friend to Kathy said. "Her classroom was three doors down from mine."
Kathy was a special education teacher at the elementary school, very involved in church and Special Olympics.
"At school, we're a close family and that's what's helping us get through it," Paul Bowling, Kathy's principal said.
"She was a great person. Wonderful teacher and very energetic. She put her heart and soul into teaching those kids. She put a lot of energy into our hallways. It'll be hard to replace," Bowling said.
"Kathy was so passionate about life, helping and supporting others. She was an awesome mother and so proud of her two daughters,"
Samantha was a sophomore at Bardstown High School.
"Her true loves were music, animals, science and math," Michael Wright, a fellow student said.
The deaths of the Netherlands hit the Bardstown community like a brick. It's a community now looking for the justice in not one but three murders in the last year; holding a flame for those lost, looking to heal for the ones left behind.
"Through a lot of prayer. They say time heals all wounds and through the help of God, we've definitely gathered around each other and supported each other with hugs, kisses, tears, laughter," Mudd said.
Kathy left behind a second daughter, Holly, who was away at college when her mother and sister died. Holly and Samantha had already lost their father to cancer back in August.