It happened more than five years ago, and still it baffles authorities and haunts friends and family. The murder of LSU student Kassie Lynn Federer has never been solved. The murder not only left behind a big hole in her family, but a big hole in the case.
A quiet apartment complex, just north of City Park in Baton Rouge, on a quiet fall day back in 1999. A quiet that would change dramatically the afternoon of September 13th. 19-year-old LSU student Kassie Lynn Federer returned to her apartment after going to class, she would never leave her apartment alive again.
According to Sgt. Madeleine Brooks, "She obviously entered her apartment, locked the door. Sometime that afternoon, before three, someone kicked the door in, and shot and killed her."
Just like that, Kassie was gone. Police believe it happened so quickly, she was all but defenseless. The killer shot at Kassie repeatedly as she ran toward the kitchen. Some of the bullets fired at Kassie penetrated the living room wall, doing some damage to apartment 121. When that tenant came home later that day, they wanted to know what all the damage was from. A short time later, they found Kassie.
"It appears that she had the phone in her hand, most probably had grabbed it, trying to call for help," says Brooks.
That call was never made. A bullet pierced both lungs and her heart, killing her instantly. Police don't have a lot to go on because the gunshots were never reported, and they found Kassie several hours after her death. And the few witnesses there are, haven't provided much. Debby, Kassie's mother, was in class at Southeastern when her husband showed up with the life changing news.
"The look on his face, I knew something was very bad," she recalls. "I asked, which one of my children? He looked at me and said Kassie. I said 'how bad?' because I'm thinking car accident. He said she's dead."
Debby lost her only daughter that day, 15 days before her 20th birthday. September is a very emotional month for the family. In fact, on what would have been Kassie's 21st birthday, her step-sister gave birth to a daughter, they named her Kasslyn, in honor of her aunt, Kassie Lynn. It's during those special days, days like bithdays that the loss seems even worse. On Debby's birthday, her two sons make sure to call her, but what about Kassie?
"There is always that third one you are waiting for, it never comes. That's the pain."
A mother's hope now is that someone out there will remember something as well, something that answers why. There was only one thing taken from Kassie's apartment, her blue bookbag. It's never been found. If you think you can help police solve this crime, give Crime Stoppers a call at 344-STOP. You can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a 1,000 dollar reward.