Kansas Cold Cases: Mercedes Holford and Crystal Andrews

Kansas Cold Cases: Mercedes Holford & Crystal Andrews
Updated: Jun. 26, 2022 at 9:55 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - July marks two years since a mother and daughter were found shot to death in their home. Their killer has not been found.

13 NEWS goes outside the Kansas Cold Case deck this week at the request of investigators, who call this crime heartbreaking.

Photos shared by the victims’ family tell the story, Mercedes Holford, just 13, was full of life and had just finished seventh grade at Robinson Middle School. Her sister says Mercedes liked to act tough, but also loved cracking jokes.

Their mom Crystal Andrews, 37, loved nothing more than to be with her family. All of her children her pride and joy. Mercedes was the youngest.

The family members says both her mom and sister were incredible, caring, outgoing ladies with gorgeous smiles and loud laughs.

“Life is not the same and will never be the same,” she said. “Never in a million years would I have thought I would have to pick out a casket for two of the closest people in my life.”

While not comfortable speaking on camera, the family says they do want to know what happened.

Crystal and Mercedes were found fatally shot just before 2 a.m. July 14, 2020, inside their home at 512 SW 5th St., a half block west of Topeka Blvd.

“It was very difficult on the officers and detectives that worked the scene. It was horrible,” said Patrick McLaughlin, cold case investigator for the Shawnee Co. District Attorney’s Office. “Any time you see a child who has been murdered, it just strikes a special chord in your heart that makes it that much more difficult, and you’re just that much more motivated to see resolution to the case.”

McLaughlin says they’re putting out a new call for tips now because time is working against them.

“It’s been two years. Any time a case progresses, and time goes by, it does tend to get a little bit more difficult. That’s why we’re pressing the public to please come forward,” he said. “Right now, it is an active investigation. I wouldn’t really consider it cold because we do have active leads that we are working on, but we really need people to come forward with whatever information they have on what led up to this.”

One piece of information that could help is who the person is seen in a surveillance image, walking past a garage near the home. McLaughlin said they’re also investigating the possibility Mercedes and Crystal knew the person who killed them.

While they wait for answers, the family is holding on to the smiles captured in photos, and urging anyone with even a tiny detail to speak up.

If you know anything about who killed Crystal Andrews and Mercedes Holford, call Shawnee Co. Crime Stoppers, 785-234-0007 or submit tips through their web site. You can remain anonymous, and tips leading to an arrest could earn you a cash reward.

Prior KS Cold Case Profiles:

John Waller

Joshua Jernagin

Clarence “Butch” Lavin

Arthur Goebel

Gary Leo Nelson

Charles Giles

James Winston III

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