Family hoping for answers in mysterious death of elderly woman

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KPLR) – Several days after the mysterious shooting death of an 84-year-old south St. Louis county woman, police and her family are still looking for answers as to what happened.

Wednesday afternoon loved ones were gathered outside Knight’s house. Her husband Dale, retired and in declining health, sat among his adult grandchildren. None has the slightest idea as to what happened or why. The neighborhood, they say, is just about crime-free, and no one believes there would be the slightest reason for anyone to want to shoot the 84-year-old great grandmother.   They had buried her the day before.

“Now we’re really waiting for some closure,” her grandson, Chris Shanahan said.

“Ready to find out exactly what happened, who is responsible for it. We’re really ready to move forward.”

She died Friday. Betty and her husband were sitting on the back porch watching birds in the back yard. Dale Knight described his wife as just suddenly slumping over. Then he saw the blood pouring from her neck. He called 911, but it was too late. Word spread quickly among the family.

“And all of a sudden the house you spent your whole life visiting, holidays, and birthdays, and special occasions, and spending the night at Grandma’s house was a crime scene. That’s a very difficult thing to process,” Shanahan said.

Betty Knight was the matriarch of the family, according to her grandson. He tells of the youngest kids coming to visit and always finding a treat or a five dollar bill waiting in a “magic box” Betty kept ready. Then there was the energy. They say the word “elderly” didn’t apply to this particular senior citizen.

“She may have been 84-years-old but she was in her yard gardening last week. She was a full time caregiver. She was a best fried to all of the grandchildren. The great grandchildren.”

Now they’re left with questions. Lots of them. Who was shooting? Why? Was she targeted? Was it an accident?

“Somebody knows who did this, ”Shanahan said. “To allow a family to go this long without closure, without the answers, is, simply put, it’s selfish.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Crimestoppers at 866-371-TIPS.

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