WSAZ Investigates | One Tip Away

Murder case of a mother gunned down nearly 20 years ago still unsolved
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 6:26 PM EDT
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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) - A mother of four was gunned down on the side of the road nearly 20 years ago, and her murder is still unsolved.

Along state Route 201 sits a cross nestled between the greenery in the summertime.

The cross bears the memory of Dianna Keeton, a mother of four, wife and sister taken too soon.

“The hurt knowing she could have been here and is not because somebody decided they didn’t think she was worth living,” said Barbara Hall, Keeton’s younger sister.

Kentucky State Police have been investigating Keeton’s death for 19 years.

It’s a mystery that still haunts both Keeton’s family and investigators.

“To know whoever murdered her is still out and walking around free, that hurts. They’re alive. She’s no longer with us and can’t be here to enjoy her kids, grandkids, and great grandkids,“ Hall said.

Kentucky State Police Trooper Shane Goodall, a public information officer, said the morning Keeton was killed a dense fog covered the road.

Keeton was on her way to work at a nursing home when she pulled off KY-201 onto Rockhouse School Road and got out of the car.

“Ms. Keeton appeared standing behind her vehicle and was shot with a .410 shotgun in the face,” Goodall said.

Troopers say a family who lived along Rockhouse School Road found Keeton’s body.

The case report indicates that Keeton didn’t have anything type of mechanical failure with her car, leaving troopers with the unanswered question of why she pulled over and got out of the car.

There’s no other evidence supporting that another car was behind her Goodall said.

Troopers believe Keeton knew the person who shot her.

“Does one shot make you think it was targeted? One hundred percent. They had a plan, and I believe it was premeditated from the case file. To bring her out here ... it’s almost like they executed her,” Goodall said.

There’s been DNA and fingerprints taken during the last two decades, troopers hoping that would explain who killed Keeton and why. Although evidence has come up short, Goodall said.

“We do have evidence that could link a suspect to the murderer, but we have not found that one specific person that matches the evidence of what we have taken from other people,” Goodall said.

Troopers say they need the last piece of the puzzle to solve the case, asking anyone with information to come forward.

Hall said, no matter how painful, she’ll keep coming back to honor Dianna’s memory and hopes someone will come forward with answers to help her family heal and get the justice her sister deserves.

“We still don’t have closure on why somebody would hurt her. As far as I know, she didn’t have enemies in her life ... I would want justice, yes, but most important I would want to know why,” Hall said.

Tips may be submitted anonymously through the Kentucky State Police Mobile App crime tip form.

However, if you need to report information that is of an emergency nature, please contact the Kentucky State Police toll free at 1-800-222-5555 (in the state of Kentucky only, does not work out of state) or call your local police/sheriff department through 911.

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