A US Air Force veteran was stabbed to death after a street violence incident – and now the police are searching for the driver who allegedly killed him, the Missouri police said.
Cody Harter, 24, drove his brown Chevy C71 with extended cab around 7:30 pm. Saturday, when he allegedly moved to a median between Interstate 470 and MO-291.
There he spoke to another driver, police said.
"It appears that our victim was in traffic and was involved in some sort of altercation with another person in traffic," said Chris Depue, a spokesman for Lee's Summit Police Department.
Depue said many witnesses may have seen "a kind of quarrel" between Harter and another man in the merger between the two trams.
"Two cars are on the shoulder and [witnesses] saw two men outside of these vehicles arguing in a fault or fight," he said.
The dispute escalated and the unidentified motorist stabbed Harter allegedly before he fled north in his vehicle on I-471, police said.
This driver is still on the run, police said. The authorities did not say if witnesses provided descriptions of him or the vehicle he drove.
Before the incident, Harter's family said he had called her to let her know that he was on his way home.
"He came down yesterday to pick up a mower," Harter's father Mike said Sunday. "He called his mother on the way home and said, 'I love you, I'll be home soon.'"
The family made a heartbreaking request to call on every witness who could have seen what had happened to track down the alleged murderer.
"If you've seen something, even if you do not think so – please call," said Kerrie, the mother of the on-duty pilot, in tears. "Let's find out who did this pointless act so you do not sit here when it's your child, please call and send us a message … please."
Kerrie Harter was flanked by her husband, her daughter Shelby, his reserve reservist Armando and Harter's girlfriend Kylee.
In a state of devastation and disbelief, Kerrie Harter said she still hopes that this is not real.
"I always wait for someone to tell me it's not true," she said. "That I'm going to wake up here, but not me."
She said that while Son was fighting overseas and surviving on mission trips to Iraq and Qatar – and helped with hurricane relief efforts in Houston and Puerto Rico – he somehow died on a domestic road, causing the police to raise a tantrum ,
"He had been at war and back, and dying because someone was angry," she said, stopping in the middle of the sentence. "My son drove 65 MPH because he was so economical with his gas mileage.
"I can only imagine that someone was upset because he did not go fast enough," she continued. "But that's no reason to take his life and leave him there."
His sister called out the killer because he repelled her brother after every argument they might have had.
"I think you're a monster," said Shelby Berkemeier. "Not only did you take my brother's life, you also took everything away from us."
At her side and on her hands was Harter's girlfriend Shelby.
She could hardly say words – only that she had planned to marry Harter and felt as if she and the family were "in a dark place."
"He was the love of my life," she said.
Hart's mother said her son disappeared in the arms of other good Samaritans who stumbled him in traffic.
"I want to thank all the people who stopped and held his hand and prayed with him," she said. "Whoever did that might have thought that he died alone, he did not die alone."
Harter was in his final semester at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph to earn a degree in engineering. If he did not ride on dirt bikes, he would mow lawns for a small business he started, his family said.