Katherine Irene Brown was born to Gary Burnhart and Lauren Fennelly on June 10, 2000, in Oxford, Mississippi. Gary and Lauren were living together when Lauren became pregnant, and she wanted to get married before the baby arrived, but Gary wanted to wait. Their relationship had been shaky from the start, and with the arrival of a colicky infant and her demands on Lauren's time and energy, things began to fall apart.

Katy slept little even during the day and cried incessantly in the evening when the colic was at its worst. Lauren got medication from her pediatrician to help with the colic, but Gary prohibited giving drugs to the baby, so Katy cried while Lauren became exhausted. Gary couldn't take it and ordered Lauren to stop the baby from crying or he was leaving, but he was asking the impossible. One day, true to his word, Gary took off and never came back.

Lauren gave Katy the medication after he left, and the colic eventually ran its course. As things became easier, Lauren began giving piano lessons in her mother's home to support herself and her baby. When one of her adult students, Richard Brown, asked her on a date, she was surprised and refused, having sworn off men after her terrible experience with Gary.

But Richard didn't give up, and with her mother's encouragement, she finally accepted his invitation to a concert. They'd been dating for a short time when Lauren found out she was pregnant. Richard vowed to care for her, Katy, and the new baby, so they were married and Katy took her stepfather's name.

Lauren's attention was diverted away from Katy for a time when son, Cody, was born on January 10, 2002. Katy adjusted well to her brother's arrival as she adjusted well to everything. Lauren enrolled Katy in private pre-school, and when Katy got home from school each day, she tried to teach Cody what she'd learned, though he was too young to understand.

When Katy was four, she begged her mother to let her join an after-school gymnastics class at her school. Lauren wanted Katy to concentrate on her flute lessons, which she'd been studying since she was old enough to hold the instrument, but Lauren finally gave in, and Katy loved it.

Katie was a strong child, physically and mentally. She made up her mind quickly and didn't waver. As she got older, she had strong opinions about everything including other people's behavior. In high school, she maintained good grades while also participating in cheerleading and working part-time at the library.

As Katy became more involved with her other activities, her music suffered much to her mother's distress. Her relationship with Cody suffered too. The busier she became, the less time she had for him.

With her gymnastics background, she had been a shoo-in for the high school cheer squad. She worked well with the team and got along with most of the girls, but in keeping with her usual style, never hesitated to express her opinion including calling out what she considered inappropriate behavior by some of the cheerleaders.

She'd heard that some of the girls had been smoking and drinking, so she called the team together and confronted them, which didn't sit well with some. They felt it was nobody's business what they did, or with whom, when they weren't performing with the team.

In spite of her strong opinions, Katy was elected team captain this year. She was on her way to a mentoring event for younger cheerleaders when she was killed.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet
Tell your friends about Crime Scene

Countdown until Case Officers get new information

Visit our
forensic detective store

Shop at Crime Scene

Crime Science: Blood Detection

$25 $20

Learn how luminol works to find blood, and conduct your own tests.

Includes:

  • luminol experiment kit
  • 4-oz training luminol
  • 1-oz synthetic blood

Free shipping
for orders over $60

Weekly Updates

Get weekly updates on the investigation.
      Click to view previous updates

Contact

Crime Scene
3602 N 16th St
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Voice (623) 565-8573
Fax (602)-274-7280

For Crime Scene Store inquiries: store@crimescene.com

For technical assistance: support@crimescene.com

Go to top