Victim's Mother Says Murder Could Have Been Prevented

Katie Hadel was stabbed to death on Tuesday


We're hearing from the mother of a woman who was stabbed to death in front of two children this week in Baltimore County.

The victim's mother and Baltimore County Police agree that they knew the man who has now been charged in connection with that murder was a threat.

They don't agree on whether everything possible was done to stop it.

Members of Katie Hadel's family say Katie and her daughter Ava were inseparable.

"She really worked hard to be a good mom and she was a good mom," said Marc Binkley, Hadel's mother's fiancé.

But in December, Jeffrey Shiflett was released from prison after serving time for robbery.

In his time behind bars he'd sent threatening letters to Katie Hadel; the two had had a brief relationship.

"He had been threatening her for a long time as well as threatening others including judges, police, attorneys," said Elise Armacost, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore County Police Department.

County Police knew Shiflett was a danger to Katie Hadel, and they say he repeatedly violated his parole by continuing to make threats.

But he had no fixed address, and investigators couldn't find him.

So they tried to protect Hadel, who was four months pregnant.  The safety plan, police say, included Hadel staying at her mother's house, which would be visited several times a day by officers.

But on Tuesday police say Katie Hadel did not follow the plan.  "Without notifying police she returned to her home in the Pikesville precinct where the suspect knew that she lived," Armacost said.

And that's where she was killed, inside her apartment.  Ava and another child, were also there, but not harmed.

Katie Hadel's mother, Robin, says Katie did tell police she would spend the day at her apartment on Tuesday.

"They knew she was there," Robin Hadel said.  "We asked them Thursday for a safety plan. Katie and I sat there for one hour with them and asked for a safety plan.  We've been asking for five years.  And we never ever got it."

Jeffrey Shiflett was arrested Wednesday in the woods behind Robin Hadel's home. 

Police would not speculate on why he went there.

Robin Hadel says she believes her daughter's murder could have been prevented; but the system failed them.

"She was a beautiful, beautiful person inside and out and just the best mom ever," she said.

Jeffrey Shflett is now charged with first degree murder; he's being held without bond at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

The family has started a fund for Katie Hadel's daughter.   It's called the "Guardian of Ava Gordon Trust."  The address is PO Box 30, Reisterstown MD 21136.

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