Parents: Don't know if slain daughter knew gunman
- Article by: TOM COYNE
- Associated Press
- January 18, 2014 - 5:05 PM
BRISTOL, Ind. — The parents of a 20-year-old woman fatally shot while working at a northern Indiana grocery store say they don't know whether their daughter knew her killer.
Krystle Dikes' parents, Juanita Whitacre, of Bristol, and Shaun Dikes, of Shipshewana, spoke Saturday about their daughter, who police say was killed Wednesday night along with shopper Rachelle Godfread, 44, by 22-year-old gunman Shawn Walter Bair. Bair was shot and killed by police moments later.
Whitacre and Shaun Dikes said their daughter made friends easily but they don't know whether she knew Bair, though both had attended Elkhart Central High School.
"She knew so many people. It's entirely possible she knew him. She knew everybody, it seemed like," Whitacre said. "But as far as any prior relationship, we have no clue."
Whitacre said she had lunch with her daughter on Wednesday, the day Krystle Dikes was killed.
"We talked about jobs. We talked about boys. We talked about school. We talked about all the things moms talk about with their daughters," Whitacre said Saturday. "We talked about her possibly going to live with her grandpa, or living with her father or me. We talked about all the possibilities she had."
Those possibilities came to an end hours later. Police say Bair entered Martin's Super Market about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday and about a half-hour later fatally shot Dikes as she stocked shelves and Godfread as she shopped.
Police have said they don't know the motive for the shootings.
Dikes' parents described her as big-hearted and independent with a contagious laugh. They said she dreamed of opening a child care center for children with special needs.
She attended Elkhart Central High School, obtained her GED and lived in Muncie for a while but moved back to northern Indiana recently after getting the job at Martin's. She had lived with friends the past two years and was looking forward to getting her own apartment.
"She wanted to see what it was like to leave and have everything in the same place when she got back home and to not have to share everything with somebody and have people eating her food, and all those kinds of things," Whitacre said.
Her parents, along with their spouses, said they have been overwhelmed by the support they have received from throughout the community and around the world, saying they have been contacted by strangers expressing support through telephone messages, letters and through Facebook.
Shaun Dikes was asked how he finds the strength to go on.
"I don't think you do," he said. "You just keep putting a foot forward. I don't think it's a question of finding strength. It's just a question of trying out how to move forward. Because I don't feel very strong right now."
Whitacre said the shock and grief remain very raw.
"I'm still falling apart in waves," she said. "The mornings are awful. Waking up and realizing that it wasn't a bad dream and it's real. That she's not coming back. I'm going to have to miss her every day for the rest of my life."
© 2017 Star Tribune