timberland earthkeepers shoes A mother’s relentless pursuit to find her daughter’s killer
FULTON COUNTY, Ga. Situated between two gravestones inside Lincoln Cemetery in Atlanta is a bright green patch of grass no gravestone, no name, no date.
“I’m just not ready to see her name on a headstone with an end date. I’m just not. I’m not ready to do that,” Katara Hamm said, with tears streaming down her face, about her daughter’s grave site.
“Headstones just make it so final like, that’s it; that’s over. I’m just not ready to see her name on a headstone. It’s hard enough for me to have to come to her grave and just. you know that’s your child under there and you can’t do anything about it.”
In the shadow of downtown Atlanta, a secret is tucked inside a quiet Fulton County community.
Just behind the front door of her grandparents’ College Park, Ga., home in an easygoing neighborhood hanging on the edge of a wooded backdrop, 17 year old Randisha Love was murdered.
Hamm, 40, found her daughter when she came home, shot five times in the face and torso on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. Without closure, answers and an arrest, it’s a sight she is haunted by every single day.
The ending to Love’s story remains a mystery for police since nothing was taken; she was not sexually assaulted; there were no signs of forced entry no obvious motive for her murder.
“This pain is an explainable pain that I feel every day and I just can’t even explain the way I feel because I’m just so hurt; and I’m angry because they felt the need to take my daughter’s life and there’s no reason that they could tell me why they did it. And I will never understand it. Never. Never.
In her mom’s phone, as “Pookie,” Love said: “Im on the bus.”
“Ok love you the have a great day,” followed by dozens of heart, crown and kissing emojis.
“Love you too.”
More colorful emojis close out their conversation.
Love taught her mom how to use emojis, she giggled. It was almost like a secret language between them adding that extra touch of love and hugs and kisses. Hamm looked forward to getting those text messages from her teenage daughter each day.
But, now, every day that her phone remains silent, sans pings to indicate she’s received a new text message, is a day that her heart breaks a little more.
That day in 2016 that started with heart emoji filled text messages, would end in a way that would shatter her mother’s world and baffle detectives.
Love was the second oldest of four children and her mother’s only daughter. She and her family had just moved with her grandparents in College Park that meant a new school, new neighbors and new friends for Love and her two of her three brothers one was already in college. She was a junior at Westlake High School.
But one staple in her life was ROTC. She could not wait to join the military, especially because she knew it would save her mom money for college.
“She was like, ‘Well, when I join the Air Force, I’m going to go because they say it will help me pay for my college as well as for my younger brother. So, mom, you won’t have to worry about what you just went through with my brother, with sending him to college.’ She said, ‘Don’t worry, I got you.’ And those words will forever stick with me because I know that all she wanted to do was help people,” Hamm said. They talked for a few minutes and shared a giggle or two.
“We were laughing with each other, and I’m happy it was a laughing conversation. I had bought her a burger or something to eat when she got out of school the next day, but my son ate it and she was like, ‘I’m gonna get him,’ and that’s what we were laughed about. because he would always eat her stuff.”
The call ended with, “Love you, mommy.”
“I love you too,” Hamm remembered saying into her phone.
But, Hamm could have had no idea that that would be the last time she would ever talk to her daughter.
She called Love, but with no answer.
It wasn’t too strange for her daughter not to answer, however, because she had been known to listen to her music with ear buds in and would not hear her phone ring, Hamm said.