LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Police have ruled the Nelson Co. death investigation as a double homicide on Wednesday afternoon, April 23, after a mother and daughter, 16, were found dead in a home on Springfield Road near Bardstown, Ky. on Tuesday.
Forty-eight-year-old Kathy Netherland was a special education teacher at Bardstown Elementary School.
Netherland and her daughter were found dead on Tuesday, April 22, Netherland's husband died of colon cancer in 2013.
Based on investigations and autopsies performed Wednesday morning, April 23, at the State Medical Examiner’s Office, both deaths are being ruled as homicides. The cause of death will not be released at this time.
Friends and family of the mother and daughter were shocked at the news of their deaths
"It's horrible. I don't understand why someone would do something like that to someone so sweet and innocent," Sabrina Stevens, a sophomore and friend said.
Stevens said she shared classes with Samantha Netherland since the first grade, a girl known to be shy but very smart.
"Once you got her talking, she was the sweetest person you could know," Stevens said.
The news of Samantha's death hit the Bardstown school district like a brick. Heard over the high school intercom, students and staff learned that she and her mother, a teacher in the district, had passed away.
"They said, 'can we have a moment of silence for Samantha and her mom Kathy,'" Destiny Phillips, a freshman and classmate said.
The district immediately brought in grief counselors to help in any way they could, for as long as they were needed.
"Our primary focus right now is our students and staff," School Superintendent Brent Holsclaw said.
The deaths of Kathy and Samantha dealt a heavy blow to a community which had just buried yet another student within the district that very day.
"The whole school went quiet. Everybody left. It was dead silent," Stevens said.
A community in grief, looking for closure.
"Everybody keeps asking, how can we help? I tell them...pray for the family," Holsclaw said.
The pastor from Parkway Baptist Church issued a statement on Wednesday night:
“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 with 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 loves, 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 no her end. Ever 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.”
The KSP is asking that any citizen/business that is located between the Botland community and Bardstown that has recorded video surveillance of KY. 150 (Springfield Rd.) please contact KSP Post 4 at 270-766-5078.