KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- The person who murdered Natasha Hays, 38, early Tuesday morning by spraying gunfire into her home while she slept, remains free; while Hays' teenage children, her family and friends are bound by their grief and loss.
Hays and her three teens, ages 18, 16, and 14, were asleep in their home at N. 9th and Cleveland at about 3:45 a.m., Tuesday when someone fired shots into Hays' bedroom, killing her.
"Whoever did this is a coward," said Candice Berger, Hays' cousin. 'They just took her life ... I mean, it's just wrong, it's just wrong, in a cowardly way."
"She was a mother, a true mother," Berger said. "Some mothers like we don't have out here. It's just so sad."
Bryan Quinn and Candice Berger say as the gunfire was hitting Hays' home, Natasha Hays' children woke up and called out for her. When she didn't answer, the 14-year-old went into her room, pulled down the covers and found Hays dead.
"How would you feel if you woke up and your mom's gone and you found her like that," said Berger. "What nightmares do you think they are going to have now?"
"It is devastating. That's something you cannot fathom to even try to deal with if you've never experienced that," Quinn said.
They say Hays' children were the most important part of her life and talking about their close relationship brought a smile to Quinn's face.
"She did everything for her kids. She was a devoted mother. That woman would do anything it took for her kids to have," Quinn said.
Hays was a caregiver at Life Care Center of Kansas City, 3231 N 61st St. The retirement home released the following statement:
The residents and associates of Life Care Center of Kansas City are shocked and heartbroken by the tragic death of our team member and friend last night. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family as they go through the difficult days and weeks ahead.
Grief counseling and bereavement services are being provided for residents and associates at the facility. At Life Care Center of Kansas City, we are a family. Our dedicated caregivers work very hard to make this center one that is known for its professionalism and compassion in the delivery of service to our residents. We remain focused on that mission today and every day.
– Michelle Nichols, Executive Director
As of Tuesday evening, police had not arrested any suspects.
Family members tell FOX 4 they believe they know who fired shots into the woman's bedroom and say a few days ago, she said she felt threatened by this person. Family also told FOX 4 someone shot this same woman in the head a few years ago on Christmas Eve. She survived, but charges were never filed.
"That girl's smile and her diva attitude. I'm going to miss her. I'm going to miss her. This is a lot to deal with right now. I don't know if I am coming or going," Quinn said.