Cold Case: 40 years later, Montgomery County still seeking who killed Kathy Beatty


Detectives' are still looking for leads in this case

ASPEN HILL, Md. (WDVM) — Over 40 years ago, a Montgomery County teenage girl went missing. She was only missing for one day but died 11 days after being found due to her injuries.

Her family, detectives and the community are still puzzled as to what happened to her. Kathy Lynn Beatty was known to always wear a smile on her face. Many who knew her said she had a big heart.

“Kathy went to school with me. We’ve been in class together the year before she was found, and for years people, my friends who I went to school with, always wondered what happened to Kathy,” said Private Detective, Steve Kerpelman. Kathy was reported missing in July of 1975. “We’re still looking for who did it. We’ve done hundreds of interviews,” Detective Kerpelman stated.

A night went by and a search was underway, until Kathy’s sister found her lying in the woods. She died at the hospital, 11 days later, of complications from her injuries. She was just 15. Detectives searched high and low for answers. “If it happened today, it would probably be a million videos of what happened. Kathy would’ve had a smartphone, today. The businesses had videos, and the K-mart has one on the front of the store,” Kerpelman said.

With very little evidence and witnesses, the case became cold, but there was one piece left behind. “This is a set of keys that were found near the crime scene where she was found,” said Lisa Bromly of the Montgomery County Police Department. Detectives have not found a match. The crime scene has since been destroyed with new developments. They called it the rocks, where kids would hang out. “Some people rode dirt bikes here, some people just hung out, some hung out and did drugs; there were different groups of people,” Kerpelman stated.

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department say the older the case gets, the harder it is to solve, leaving them only to rely on someone to come forward. “People’s memories have faded; witnesses have passed away,” Bromly said.

For decades, it’s been a living nightmare for Kathy’s family as they continue to find closure. A website and Go Fund Me page have been created in hopes for answers. “I want what Kathy’s mother wants. She wants to know the truth of what happened to her daughter. At this point, that doesn’t necessarily mean prosecution. She just wants to know. Her mother is getting up there in age, and her wish is: before she dies, I hate to say it, but she wants to know what happened to Kathy,” Kerpelman stated.

Detectives urge anyone with information on Kathy’s murder to call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County at 1-866-411-TIPS. You may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $10,000. The family is offering additional rewards for any information to help with this case.

Video Courtesy: Montgomery County Police

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