Murder victim's family members call for killers to turn themselves in

Andrew Teel

Police looking for vehicle seen in vicinity


"At about 1:45 this morning, my wife died in my arms,” Andrew Teel said, red-rimmed eyes glistening in the harsh lights from the television cameras surrounding him as he described 19-year-old Kera Teel’s final moments during a press conference June 6. “I don’t know if any of you have ever experienced anything like that. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.”

Teel and other family members of the young mother appeared at the press conference to ask that Kera’s killers come forward and to plead with the public to tell police if they know anything about the incident or can identify any of the parties involved.

“If anybody knows anything at all, please, please come forward,” Teel implored.

Beaumont Police Department Officer Haley Morrow said officers responded to a call at the Sienna Apartment Homes at 6155 Sienna Trails in Beaumont at about 1:50 a.m. on June 6.

When officers arrived, they located Kera Teel, a 19-year-old Beaumont woman, in her car in the parking lot of the apartment complex suffering from gunshot wounds. Kera was seven months pregnant with a baby girl.

Beaumont EMS arrived on scene and transported Kera to St. Elizabeth hospital where, according to Officer Morrow, “every possible effort was made to save her and the life of her baby.”

“Kera’s baby, Kyndal Jae Teel, was born at the hospital but passed away a short time later,” Morrow reported. “Kera had taken her mother to the hospital in Galveston. They were just returning home from a long day of medical treatment. Kera’s mother was inside the vehicle during the incident and witnessed the whole crime.”

Police initially speculated that the shooting was “a robbery gone wrong” but have since revised that theory. They are now looking into potential motives. Morrow said witnesses described three black males approached the vehicle. One of the males reportedly opened the door of the car and fired multiple times, striking the pregnant mother. The shots-fired call that led police to the discovery of the capital murder at Sienna Apartments followed another shots-fired call from a nearby location, RFD and 105, just minutes before the incident was reported at Sienna Trails. The first call resulted in a report of an aggravated assault. Officer Morrow said someone had been shot at during the incident but not struck or injured. A third shooting occurred after the homicide. Police are investigating whether or not the three shootings are related.

Kera’s sister-in-law, Candis Blythe, described her lost loved one and the emptiness she would leave behind.

“Kera Teel is not just a name on the TV screen,” said Blythe. “She was my sister. Her last name is Teel because she was the love of Andrew’s life. He would have done anything for her. She carried his two children, one of whom was taken from him.

“If you know anything or anybody that had anything to do with this, please come forward.”

Andrew Teel said he was devastated by the loss of his wife and daughter, and said he would remember Kera to their 1-year-old baby, Alaya.

“Kera wasn’t just my wife,” said Teel. “She was my best friend and the mother of my children. She was just the greatest person to be around, so full of life, taken away too young. If I could find this person and just talk to them, all I would tell them is that I want them to know what they took from me. They took my unborn daughter. They took my wife. They took the mother of my 1-year-old daughter.

“We just celebrated my one-year-old daughter’s birthday this Saturday. My wife had an idea to make a time capsule for her … to be opened on her 18th birthday. My wife and I wrote ours together. She read mine and put mine in there. I told her I didn’t want to read hers, that we would read it together on (Alaya’s) 18th birthday. That’s the last memory we’ll have. Me and my daughter, when she turns 18, we’ll have that memory of her.”

Physical descriptions of the suspects, as Morrow stated in the initial news release June 6, are limited. Kera Teel’s mother said a man in a mask opened the car door and fired without saying anything. She said she then saw him flee the complex with two other men. She also described a black Cadillac driving back and forth in front of the apartment complex just prior to the incident, but police say there is no evidence at this time that a black Cadillac was at the scene.

Officer Carol Riley said the Crime Stoppers’ reward for information leading to arrest in relation to this case has been raised to $3,000 from $2,000 after Robert Bertrand of Cotton Cargo donated an additional $1,000.

“I felt the reward was too low,” he said. “I don’t think you have a pulse if you don’t feel like doing something to help catch these animals who committed this crime.”

Bertrand wrote the check to Crime Stoppers and Riley picked it up June 7. 

“I challenge other businesses to reach into their pockets and do the same,” said Bertrand.

“It’s sad that some people don’t come forward and do the right thing without being compelled by monetary rewards, but we do what we can do,” Riley said, praising Bertrand for his contribution. 

“There are over 118,000 citizens in the city of Beaumont,” said Morrow at the June 6 press conference. “Someone knows who the suspects are.”

Police are encouraging anyone with information about the capital murder that took the lives of Kera and Kyndal Teel, no matter how big or small the tip, to call Beaumont police at (409) 832-1234 or call Southeast Texas Crime Stoppers at (409) 833-TIPS (8477). All calls are anonymous.