Cold Case Investigation: Donut Shop Owner Rose Born - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Cold Case Investigation: Donut Shop Owner Rose Born

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By all accounts, 45-year-old Rose Born was a hard worker. The owner of Paradise Donuts on East 18th Street, Born would get up to start her day around midnight to get ready for the morning rush.

But on the morning of July 8, 1998, her routine was interrupted. Lake Charles Police responded to the donut shop around 3:30 a.m. after a patron discovered Born stabbed to death on the floor behind the counter.

"While all homicides are incredibly violent, this one was probably one the most violent ones our investigators had seen in their careers at that time," said Deputy Chief Mark Kraus, Lake Charles Police.

Kraus said Born put up a good fight against her killer. While DNA evidence was found at the scene, Kraus said a suspect and motive have been hard to come by. According to investigators, cash was left in the register.

"We would love to say that we think we know what happened but it's just simply an unsolved murder because we don't know what happened. We don't know if it was a robbery gone bad and the suspect just felt he was in too deep and left. We just don't know," Kraus said.

Born's sisters are also searching for answers. In a 2003 interview, they told 7 News they were surprised no information had surfaced on the street.

"There's a violent killer out there that we would like to see brought to justice," said Julia Leblanc, Born's sister.

"And, of course, our question is why," said Rita Theriot, Born's sister.

"That's what I would like to know is why would they do this? Was it for money or was it just to make a point?," said Mary Barnette, Born's sister.

After stabbing her to death, Born's killer fled the scene in her SUV. The vehicle was later found abandoned nearly four miles away in the 2400 block of Anita Drive. Authorities strongly believe someone saw something. 

"We need the public to give us that information to make some sense of what these cases are because that little tiny piece of information could really, really close a case out and get a violent killer off the street," said Kraus.

While 15 years have managed to pass, the donut shop is now operating under a different name and business. However, the community hasn't forgotten about what happened to Rose Born. Kraus said just last week, investigators were following up on a tip and will continue to do so until a killer is brought to justice.

"If we don't get information tomorrow or after this newscast - this book doesn't close. If I'm not here in five or 10 years there's going to be another policeman that comes up and he's going to want to know what's going on in this case. So, this never ends," said Kraus.

Anyone who can provide information in this case is asked to call Lake Charles Police at 491-1311 or Crime Stoppers at 439-2222.

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