Kansas homicide victim was sister of girl abducted, killed in 1999

A Kansas City, Kan., homicide victim has been identified as the sister of a girl whose kidnapping 17 years earlier sparked a massive manhunt before she was found dead in Missouri.

Police said Thursday that Casey Eaton, 34, was shot to death late Wednesday night. Her body was found in a vehicle, The Kansas City Star reports.

Her sister was Pamela Butler, who was 10 in October 1999 when she was kidnapped while roller-skating near her Kansas City, Kan., home. The abduction sparked a two-day manhunt that included an early high-speed chase through the city when a passer-by saw Keith Nelson grab Pamela. Nelson managed to elude the witness, who got his license plate number and called police.

Nelson, who was sentenced to death in federal court, drove the girl east into Missouri and then dragged her into a densely wooded area of Grain Valley, where he beat her and strangled her with speaker wire. In return for pleading guilty, prosecutors agreed to drop a count alleging that he sexually assaulted the girl.

Cherri West, Pamela and Eaton’s mother, expressed disbelief in a social media post that she has to bury another daughter.

“I am just totally lost,” West wrote Thursday on Facebook. “I can’t believe it’s true. It truly has to be a nightmare … I never in my life again would think I would have to live a parent’s worst nightmare of having to be told I lost another daughter to murder.”

Detectives investigating Eaton’s killing are urging anyone with information to call a tips hotline.

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