UPDATE: Memorial Held for Slain College Student

By: The Associated Press; Andrew Colegrove Email
By: The Associated Press; Andrew Colegrove Email

UPDATE 5/9/13 @ 9 p.m.
ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- The family of a slain college student held a memorial for her Thursday evening at the bandstand at Ashland Central Park.

Loved ones of Cassandra “Cassie” Owens say rather than have a somber event, they wanted to have an upbeat tribute to reflect how warm and positive Owens always was to everyone she met.

"She loved everyone,” Owens’ mother Melody York said. “She had many friends, just a free spirit, just very full of life and love."

The 21-year-old from Ironton was studying nursing at Morehead State.

Police say her ex-boyfriend, Casey Shay, shot her in the head in the bedroom of their home in Morehead and turned himself in the next day.

“She died at such a young age in such a horrible way,” family friend Carla Brown said. “We wanted to remember her in a happier way than that."

The family had food and sang karaoke of some of Owens’ favorite songs. A scrapbook of photos of Owens was on display.

"She was my angel,” York said. “She was my best friend."

Owens and her boyfriend had a 2-year-old daughter, Madison

The tribute Thursday included a table where people could leave a note for Madison to read when she gets older.

York says the family’s main focus now is making sure they don't let this tragedy ruin Madison’s life.

"She's got a lot of love from all around,” York said. “She's going to have a very strong support system. That's my heart is to make sure she's emotionally and mentally sound with all of this."

Shay is charged with murder in Rowan County.

UPDATE 5/6/13 @ 10:25 a.m.
ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) -- A memorial is set for Thursday to honor a Morehead State University student found shot to death in March.

Family and friends want to honor 21-year-old Cassandra "Cassie" Owens at the bandstand in Ashland's Central Park.

Police say Owens was shot to death by her ex-boyfriend, 26-year-old Casey R. Shay.

The pair had a two-year-old daughter together and had broken up about six months before the shooting.

Shay is charged with murder in Rowan County.

Owens' mother, 42-year-old Melody York, of Ironton, says the memorial program will include food, music and a table where people can share favorite stories about Owens or leave a note for her daughter, Madison.

In the event of rain, Thursday's event will be moved to the Salt and Light Worship Center in Ashland.

UPDATE 3/8/13 @ 10 p.m.
MOREHEAD, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A case of domestic violence took a deadly turn for a Morehead State student.

Cassie Owens, 21, was a sophomore at the university.

She lived in a mobile home along Christian Street near campus with her boyfriend, 26-year-old Casey Shay.

Thursday afternoon, Morehead police say Shay went to the Rowan County Detention Center and confessed he shot and killed his girlfriend. He is now charged with her murder.

Police went to their home and found Owens in their bedroom with two gunshot wounds.

The chief says Shay shot her Wednesday morning and then took a couple days to decide what to do before turning himself in.

"That was a real shocker,” neighbor DeShawn Deshazor said. “We find out she was sitting in the house for two days. That was a real shocker, he was right there in the house with her the whole time."

“Nobody heard the gunshots or anything," neighbor Crystal Moore said.

The couple had a 2-year-old daughter.

“She was a really good mom,” Moore said. “She took care of her little girl."

Police say the daughter wasn't home at the time of the shooting.

Neighbors say it's tragic the child has now lost both parents and has been robbed of a normal life.

“She lost her mom, now her dad's going to be in jail,” Moore said. “She really technically lost him, too. He took both of them away. It's really sad."

The daughter is now staying with a grandparent.

No motive has been released.

MOREHEAD, Ky. (AP) - A Morehead State University sophomore has been fatally shot and her boyfriend has surrendered to police.

The Rowan County Coroner confirmed 21-year-old Cassandra Owens died of multiple gunshot wounds Wednesday.

Police have charged 26-year-old Casey Shay with killing her. Shay turned himself in at the Rowan County Detention Center on Thursday afternoon.

Investigators said Owens and Shay had a child together and the girl was not harmed. She is being cared for by a grandparent.

The shooting occurred in a bedroom at Owens' mobile home Wednesday morning.

Shay is held without bond, pending arraignment.

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