Little girl left with murdered mother looking for answers

CARROLLTON, Ga. -- If you lived in Metro Atlanta in 2000, you probably remember the horrific story of Laneshia Crowder. The details are hard to forget: a mother's beaten body discovered beside a toddler trying to wake her up. Today, that little girl is making plans to attend college. Fourteen years later, she's still haunted by what she saw that night.

The Murder
The memory of her daughter still brings Doris Crowder to tears. August 14, 2000 Laneshia was brutally murdered inside her Carrollton home. There were two known eye witnesses: her own children.

"They tell me every night what happened," Doris said. "That he kept kicking her."

Laneshia Crowder's badly beaten body was discovered in her bedroom. Her 2-year-old daughter, Lyric, was found in the same room. Her 7-year-old son, Kenneth, was found in the next bedroom. He had also been attacked and was airlifted to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. Investigators believe the children were alone with their mother's body for 36 hours.

"We don't believe it was a robbery," Carroll County Chief Deputy Brad Robinson said. "As far as the doors and all – there was not damages done to the doors or windows, we don't think that anyone actually broke into the home to do it."

Investigators have kept certain details from the public, but motive isn't one of those facts. "We don't know why somebody would have come in to harm her, but for whatever reason she was assaulted and killed," the Chief Deputy said.

The Timeline
On the Saturday night before her death, Laneshia made several phone calls. Police did extensive interviews with people she spoke with up until midnight. After that, communication stopped.

On Sunday, no one saw Laneshia. By Monday night, people started getting concerned. A friend went to check on her. What he saw when he peeked inside the window sent him running to Carl Neal's house.

"He looked in the window, and he saw the little baby on top of her. I guess the baby was trying to wake her up," Neal said.

The two men called 911. Because of that timeline, investigators believe the 21-year-old mother was killed in the early morning hours of Sunday, August 13.

Survivors
Kenneth Crowder was almost murdered the night he lost his mother. He was left for dead. He survived the attack, but it left him scarred. He still suffers from the traumatic brain injury. He's now 22 years old and just graduated from high school.

Lyric is making plans for college, but she's still haunted by what happened in their home that night in August: "I remember it vividly," she said. "I know their faces. I know what they were wearing."

No one has been arrested or charged in Laneshia's murder. Her surviving children are begging for someone to step forward.

"We would like if anybody has information to contact the Carroll County Sheriff's Office," Lyric said.

Tips
If you know anything about Laneshia Crowder's murder, call GBI agent Larry Duren at 706-565-7888 or Carroll County Sheriff's Office at 770-830-5888. Go to 11Alive's Facebook page and SHARE her story to help the cold case gain new traction.


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