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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

[TX] Officer Caran Coward killed in husband's murder-suicide

..."There were some problems along the way, but nobody expected this to happen," Polk County Sheriff Kenneth Hammack said... There had been some family or marital problems and that’s all I know at this time”... One of the couple's three children, who was inside the home during the shooting, called 911 to report finding their father in a pool of blood, Hammack said, and he added that police believe the weapon was a shotgun...

Livingston Officer Killed
by Tashun Chism
Flags all over Livingston are flying at half staff today in honor of Caran Coward, the Livingston police officer who was found dead over the weekend... Polk County Sheriff's Department officials say Officer Coward was on duty Saturday night when she got a call from her husband, Randy Coward. Both she and her husband were found dead outside her Polk County home. Authotirities believe officer Coward's husband killed her with a shot gun and then turned the gun on himself. They say the couple was going through a divorce. "There were some problems along the way, but nobody expected this to happen," Polk County Sheriff Kenneth Hammack said... Coward is remembered as a good officer and an even better person. Fellow law enforcement officers know danger comes with the job, but knowing her death could have been a result of domestic violence makes it even harder for them to deal with. "It brings us back to reality to start with to show that police are just other citizens within the county and the city that we're not immune to domestic violence," Sheriff Hammack told us. Caran Coward leaves behind three children. If you would like to make a donation to help officer coward's family, please contact the Livingston Police Department or the First National Bank in Livingston. [Full article here]
Colleagues recall slain Livingston officer's dedication Detectives believe Caran Renee Coward was slain by her husband who then took his own life
Houston Chronicle
By Mike Glenn and Anita Hassan
April 27, 2008
As Polk County sheriff's detectives continued their investigation into the death of Livingston police officer Caran Renee Coward, apparently slain by her husband who then took his own life, her colleagues on Sunday said she was a dedicated officer who had a strong, unwavering bond with her community. "She was just real good with the public. She was real caring," said Mike deVilleneuve, who recently retired after spending more than 30 years as a Livingston police officer. Coward had been on the force for about three years and was the only female officer in the close-knit department. "She did the best job she could. She was always willing to learn more," deVilleneuve recalled... Randy Phillip Coward, 43, was also found dead from a gunshot wound. Coward, 39, was found about 8 p.m. Saturday in a travel trailer outside her home in the 300 block of Knob Hill, about 75 miles north of downtown Houston... One of the couple's three children, who was inside the home during the shooting, called 911 to report finding their father in a pool of blood, Hammack said, and he added that police believe the weapon was a shotgun. Coward was on duty when she was killed... Valerie Reddell, a friend of Caran Coward's, said she was unaware of any problems the couple was having. Reddell, also the Polk County Enterprise editor, said Randy Coward was a musician and a Christian Country Music Association award winner. She said he did construction work on the side. The last time they spoke, Caran Coward told Reddell that her husband had broken his foot on a construction job and that the injury had affected his ability to earn a living both in music and construction, prompting her to take on extra police assignments... Reddell said she'll remember Caran Coward for always treating people with respect. "She was courteous and kind to everybody," she said. "She is a shining example of everything a woman officer brings to law enforcement".... [Full article here]
On Duty Officer Murdered by Husband During Domestic Dispute
Houston Chronicle
April 28, 2008
... Authorities said they think she was killed by her husband, Randy Phillip Coward, 43, who was also found dead from a gunshot wound in the trailer. One of the couple’s three children, who was inside the home during the shooting, called 911 to report finding their father in a pool of blood, Hammack said, and he added that police believe the weapon was a shotgun.... "I'm not sure why she went home at this time... There had been some family or marital problems and that’s all I know at this time,” [Polk County Sheriff Kenneth] Hammack said... The three children – two boys and a girl – are being taken to their grandmother’s home. [Full article here]


  1. Such a sad thing. To the children, please know that you are in our prayers. May God's true love bring comfort to you and your families during this terrible time.

  2. Southeast Texans Remember Slain Livingston Policewoman
    KFDM-TV News, Texas
    Scott Lawrence scottl@kfdm.com
    April 29, 2008

    Funeral services have been set for a Lumberton High School graduate who is the first policewoman killed in the line of duty in Livingston.

    The body of 39 year Caran Coward was found Saturday night in her home in Liivingston.

    Investigators say her husband, 43 year old Randy Coward, shot and killed her and then committed suicide.

    Karen graduated from Lumberton High School in 1987. She was a twirler and in the band. She attended Lamar University for one year following graduation. She was also a twirler at LU.

    Caran became Livingston's first policewoman in February of 2005.

    In a telephone conversation Tuesday, her father, Kenneth Davenport, spoke with KFDM News about his daughter.

    "She was a warm compassionate woman who went out of her way to help each and every person she could," said Kenneth Davenport, Caran's father.

    He cited one of many examples in her career.

    "A mother had called Livingston P.D, worried about her teenage son," said Mr. Davenport. "He wouldn't eat or drink. He stayed in his room for several days. Caran and a male officer went to talk with him. Caran walked over to him and knelt down and talked to him in a calming, soothing, motherly-love voice, and convinced the man it was in his best interest to go to the hospital and get treatment. His mother wrote a letter to the Livingston P.D., telling them Caran had saved her son's life. That's the type of person she was. She'd take in stray animals and nurse them back to health and usually end up keeping them. All she wanted to do was help people and make the world a better place for her children and everyone else's."

    Mr. Davenport said the family moved to Lumberton in the mid 1970's.

    "She decided she wanted to serve the public and be a police officer," said her father. "She graduated from Angelina Police Academy in 2004 and was valedictorian and top marksman. She could do anything she set her mind to, whether it was law enforcement, music or art. Last month she was promoted to Field Training Officer in Livingston.

    Caran is survived by two sons, a daughter and many other relatives.

    Mr. Davenport says a memorial service will be held Thursday afternoon at 2 at First United Methodist Church in Livingston.

    Visitation is from 6 to 9 p.m Thursday at Broussard's on North Major Drive in Beaumont.

    Funeral services will be held Friday morning at 11 at Wesley United Methodist Church in Beaumont.

    Caran will be buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery with full police honors.


    Victim of apparent murder-suicide to be buried Friday
    Beaumont Enterprise, TX
    By AMY COLLINS, The Enterprise

    As law officers in Polk County search for a motive in what appears to be a murder-suicide, family and friends are preparing to bury a woman from Lumberton.

    Caran Renee Coward's body was discovered Saturday night in her home in Livingston, where she was a city police officer. She had lived in Livingston about eight years.

    After an initial investigation, authorities said Coward's husband, Silsbee native Randy Phillip Coward, 43, killed her with a shotgun before shooting and killing himself, according to officials.

    One of the Cowards' three children called 911 after finding Randy Coward in a pool of blood, according to law enforcement officials.

    Caran Coward, 39, graduated from Lumberton High School, where she had been a twirler and a band member, about 20 years ago. She then attended Lamar University in 1987 and 1988, where she also was a twirler, according to information from Broussard's on Major Drive in Beaumont, the funeral home handling arrangements

    She attended Angelina Police Academy and graduated as valedictorian and with top marksman honors in 2004. Later she went to work for the Polk County Sheriff's Office, then was a Coldspring Independent School District police officer. Her next career move was to the Livingston Police Department, where she recently was promoted to training officer.

    Caran Coward's family and friends will gather from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home and services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Wesley United Methodist Church. Burial is at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.


  3. Randy was a man of God! I have known him for eight years. We worshiped God together. I don't know what went wrong? I will always LOVE him!

    Darryl Wanye Brandon

  4. AnonymousMay 27, 2008

    I feel for you having to resolve what you thought you knew with what is.

  5. AnonymousJune 02, 2008

    We can not know for sure what his relationship with God was. I knew Randy for over 16years....I knew Caran for over 30! Randy knew how to work the church.... it was his "gig". Thats how he got money. Everyone needs to remember that knowledge of God and talking "God" does not make one a christian. Satan knows the word of God. His actions at home were NOT that of a Godly man. Caran was the breadwinner in the family. There were many things Randy had issues with....but the fact is that he made a choice...a choice that has changed many lives from that point on. His actions were selfish. Carans daughter turned 16 without her Mother!!!! Please continue to pray for her family.

  6. I too knew both Randy and Caran. And though Randy was far from perfect, he did have a relationship with the Lord. He also suffered from clinical depression for the past 10 years and just never got treatment for it. He spent a lot of time NOT singing in Churches, so it wasn't his "gig" as one anonymous jerk so knowingly exclaimed. We will never know why this happened other than bad things happen to good people. Caran didn't deserve that, neither did the kids. God will work this out as He usually does. I also sang/wrote/played golf/took vacations with Randy and Caran. I don't think anyone knew him as well as me. If you knew him at all, you knew he was private and trusted very few people. Caran loved everyone she met. Randy never made any real money "working" the Churches. Most of the time, it got him back home and paid a few bills. At the beginning of '08, he was giving his music away to anyone who couldn't afford to buy it. Yeah, he was really raking it in. How about not judging what you don't know.

    TJ Smith

  7. Judge....Randy did that with Caran. He had mental issues...true. We knew it since he and Caran got together. This event had been in the planning. He KNEW he was going to do it. Giving away a few tapes to boost popularity isnt SAINTLY. I do believe he tried at times....but why are you so concerned about HIM! He KILLED my friend!!!! He made the legacy of his children...this horrible situation!!!!
    Facts are facts...He did NOT provide a happy home. (or financially) His greatest love was not for God or Caran...but for himself. I have no doubt that Randy KNOWS I'm MAD at him...and he understands that. He knew me before he knew Caran.....and I begged her not to date him! What you knew...was not the complete picture.....neither was what I knew. If I had known it was THIS bad.... Caran would still be here. Her children would have a Mom. Her Parents would have a daughter. Her Sister would have her. I would be able to call her and tell her how much I LOVE her and miss her EVERY day!!!

  8. I was very shocked that something like this could happen in my hometown, but please...if their children see this, it would make it worse. They would not want to see more fighting, arguing, or violence come from their parents' tragic death.

    Let them both rest in peace.

  9. As Caran's mother, I can appreciate everyones comments on hers and Randys situation. I know with all my heart that Caran is with God and is watching over her children and her sister and her mom and dad. If anything this was a selfish act and has hurt a tremendous amount of people. But is does my heart good to know that no matter what, I did do a good job of raising my children. Both my girls chose to do public service and help whoever needed it. They both learned to have compassion and love for others. I just pray God will give us all the strength and love we should have to endure the pain that is ongoing in our lives.
    To you,Caran,I will love you for the rest of my life and will teach your children how to love and forgive. I can only pray that I will see you again before our father.

  10. to any one who claims Randy was a man of God listen. I had to live with this "man of God" you think he is. You only saw what he wanted you to see unless you live with some one you can't possibly know what they're really like. At home he was a drunk he mentally abused all of us and some times physically hurt my mother. Yes he had mental problems but my mother made sure he had the medication needed it was his choice to take it with alcohol. T.J you have no idea what was going on in that house. You only saw the side of Randy he wanted you to see. He did get treatment for his "clinical depression". And just so you know the person's comment you replied to does know what they're talking about and has every right to judge.

    Megan Corley
    Caran's daughter

  11. Oh Megan, I am soooo sorry you lost your mom this way. My blog is your blog. If you want me to post that as an entry (instead of a comment) or if you want to share what you want people to know about your mother I'd be honored to post it on the blog. Maybe letting folks know here in the comment section that they are fooling themselves is all you want, then you have what you need - but if there is anything ever that I can do for you, let me know.

    MUCH love,

  12. to cloud ,
    thank you so much i would really appreciate if you would post my comment as an entry so that other people that thought they knew what was really happening might see that their wrong and only the people that lived in that house knew the truth.
    again thank you.


  13. Could you email me please? cloudwriter@gmail.com

  14. ==========================
    MEGAN'S SAY - daughter of slain Livingston Police Officer Caran Coward

  15. Man... I am so sorry to hear about this. I knew Randy when he was in his late 20's when I was living in Kirbyville. He seemed like a great guy and a great singer... it goes to show that things like this can happen to anyone. Really is an illustration on how we all need to put God first in everything.

  16. I met randy around 1991. He was always preaching that "Jesus Loves you!" to me.

    I meant to give him a call because he had some garage sales at my mother's house before he started doing a lot of singing. He said he was to raise money so he could go sing for the Lord in Nashville.

    Reason I needed to call him was to ask him where some of my stuff disappeared to that I noticed was missing. Stuff that I kept stored in her garage while I was in the miltary.

  17. Today is you birthday and I can't describe what I feel inside. I miss and love you so much. The hurt that continues in your childrens hearts and mine has not eased at all. Today will be exceptionally hard on all of us. I hope other people will see the warning signs of Domestic Abuse and act upon it so no one else has to suffer the way we have.
    Stacie misses you terribly, we all do.
    You have my heart with you and I hope to see you soon.

  18. I am so sorry for the pain of this day for you.

    Get lots of long hugs. I would give you one if I could reach you.

    I posted this:

    [TX] Caran's first birthday in heaven

  19. Megan and Doris, Please forgive me for my earlier post. I guess I was getting tired of reading things about someone I thought I knew. Megan,you were right. I only saw what I was allowed to see in Randy. You've stayed in my prayers and we all miss your mom. You kids have suffered through things no human should have to experience. It took both of you a lot of courage for you to get on here and talk about your life. If I can do anything, email me tjsmithmusic@yahoo.com

  20. That brought tears to my eyes. No one has ever backed up like that and said "sorry" here on this blog of over 2000 posts.

    You made my day beautiful.
    God bless your humble heart.

    It's hard to deal with things that others do.

    MUCH love,

  21. I had the honor of partnering with this great woman as a law enforcement officer for a period of time. Caran was always quick to jump right in on the action, never afraid, but always open to lisening to someone's problems or complaint. I don't know to much about the home life she had with Randy, but I do know people and the Lord. I have been raised around church in and out all my life and this man was one of many that i met of his nature. I never said anything to him unkind, but there was always something about him that rubbed me raw. I have children myself and sometimes I don't like there mother, but no matter how mad I got at her for no reason would I ever dream of taking her life, simply because of the kids and the effect it would have on them for ever. I met Meagan and the boys, heck I even had the oldest boy, phillip on my ball team one year. I know these kids were awesome just from being around them and so was Caran. So what in name of God would give him the right to do this. If you ask me there was only one shot wasted that day, Caran should still be here.

  22. I just tonight found this website. I knew about the incident when it happened, I just never knew the site was here. A friend told me to go here. I read the posts on here. I did know randy when he was married to Cyndi. We did a quite a few things together, and I really didn't know a dark side, in fact many teen kids looked up to him as a hero because he traveled with bessie bug when him and Cyndi went on Randys gigs. He did lead many to the Lord, though it may have been an act, as most say on here, God used that anyway. But I was really sad about what happened and for the life of me could not understand why he would do such a terrible thing or how it was so out of hand. I guess no one will ever know what happened that night.The only thing his ex wife had said to me was that he would get really upset when she'd pour his beer down the sink. I had no idea what she meant by that and I never asked and she never said more about it. And this was before he even left Silsbee. I'm just very saddened that he could do this to his family and the mother of his children. And it is true, we can not be half in and half out of God and his will, or be half a christian or pretend to be one. It will only backfire and who knows how far it can go, as it did with Randy? My sincere prayers are with all the friend and family. God Bless you all and may Jesus heal every wound and make a peace come over your hearts and minds.

  23. I dated Caran very briefly in college. At that time, she was so full of life and vibrant, it radiated off of her. She could have had anyone she wanted. She was smart and drop dead gorgeous.

    Nobody knows what goes on in a relationship between two people, but if you ask me, this was the act of a man who realized he was nowhere near capable of keeping such a good woman.

    One thing I can be sure of is, if there are beaches in heaven, Caran is there...

  24. Happy Birthday Caran Renee! I miss you so much! Oh how I wish I could talk to you. You always were there for me.I am so sorry I could not SEE what you were going thru and help you. So many of us wish we could go back and do something different. This day is to celebrate you! I am thankful that God allowed me to know you for so long. You were an awesome friend!!

    I love what the person above wrote about the beach...it is SO true! You are either on a beach or riding a horse! Happy Birthday!!!


  25. Still missing you!!


  26. I can't believe it's been three years. I still grab the phone sometimes to call you before it hits me that it's not that easy anymore, however I still talk to you all the time. Cade and Nathanial are still best buds I will always keep our promise. I love and miss you very very much!!


  27. Wendy Cassel MortonApril 26, 2011

    Today I am saddened by the reality of what took place, on this day, 3 years ago. I went to jr high, and high school w/ Caran. We were both in the band, she was a vivacious twiler, me a crazy flag girl. She was an awesome and beautiful person inside and out. I feel physically ill as i read all the posts about the horrible man that took her life. He hid behind the name of Jesus and at home was really a beast! What you see is NOT always, what is real. He left this legacy for himself, and yes, he should be judged for that!
    I can not put into words what I feel for Caran's children, and family for this huge loss. Caran will always be remembered! Caran's life should be celebrated for the love she was able to give, in such a short time. RIP Caran, we all know heaven is even a better and shinier place since you arrived. Give my love to my dad. Maybe you both can entertain with your own marching band up there!

  28. AnonymousJune 14, 2011

    I just happen to find this Blog on a friends site. I went to school with Caran in Lumberton. She was such a sweet, caring and loving person. Beautiful smile as always!!! I was reading over all these posts and it was making me so angry how people did not KNOW the REAL RANDY. I only found out with the time of her death, who she was married to. I know that she was married to Robert, we all knew they were together in HS, along side great and best friends Andrea and Darren! Anyways, only after finding out she had married Randy, it just sicken me more. I knew Randy back when he was married to Cyndi. Cyndi lived in fear, and had a gun pulled on her many of times. I am glad that she got away from him, but then only to find that he had found another victim. I can not say what was going on in Caran's mind to stay with someone like this so long, except that she loved him. I should know, I was in a relationship like this. It is very hard to leave someone that you love, even though they are verbally, physically and mentally abusive to you. I had found out that she had just filed for divorce like the week of or before this took place. I know that lots of people say things happen for a reason, but I really would like to know what this reason is?!?!? I feel for the kids, her mom and dad, her sister Stacie and many, many friends!!! I am glad that the one guy came back on the posts and apologized. No one NEVER truly KNOWS what goes on behind Closed Doors!!! People are very good actors and deceivers, even in the "WORD OF GOD". I know Caran is in Heaven and is watching over her children, her family, and even some of her long time friends...even animals!!! Anyways, I am proud of Meaghan to get on here and to speak her voice about the VIOLENCE that TOOK Place in their HOME! One day we will ALL meet back up with Caran and others that we have lost and it will be another wonderful day in Heaven!!! Love you lots Caran....Always a Childhood Friend!!!

  29. Thank you. And you give me encouragement without knowing it.

  30. Another year has gone by... and it makes me sad thinking of how life has changed without you. You have been needed here! There have been rough times inwhich I've need to call you and cry and there have been some babies born and I've wanted to share my joy. I miss you. It hurts even more knowing your family must miss you even more than I do. I love ya! Andi

  31. I'm just blown away!! I've searched for years to find Randy coward and his music!! I was given a copy in the mid 1990's and was moved by so many of his songs..... It's very tragic what happened!! He obviously had demons he delay with!!! I pray that God watch over the children!! I once tried to convince someone I know in the music industry he should record some if Randy's music.... Maybe if he had known the guy I know he'd have gotten more help!! As a nurse I see this daily!! He sounds like he was ticking away!! I just don't know what to say..... For someone who apparently touched so many lives positively to hurt so many in such a horrific way!! Such darkness pushing away light

  32. Sitting in church or saying you know Jesus does not make a person a Christian. Unfortunately, Randy chose to not follow the teaching of God. It's silly to say he knew God. If he did, he'd know that you don't murder your wife just because you have a jealousy problem or self worth problem. Thats selfish. Yes he did plan it. I knew Randy and his ex wife Cindy and she shared with me his drinking problem in the mid 90's. She also shared his abusing her. He was verbally cruel too. He left her and stepped down from his ministry at the Cowboy Church. He renounced God's ministry. And I want to say that Randy did make a lot of money when he played at Walmart stores, at least $400.00 dollars a two hour session. However, he was a funny comedian and had a lot of jokes to tell and made people laugh. But that doesn't make it better. I'm only saying that obviously Randy had mental problems that had nothing to do with God or what he claimed to be Christian wise. He wasn't. He turned away. He didn't even care about his kids. What a shame. So sad. It's so sad for all concerned, even Randy.

  33. I was friends with Randy and Caran's son in fourth grade when it happened. I miss him so much, when I heard what happened to his parents I was so scared of what would happen to him and his brother. I miss him so much. After he moved, I lost contact with him. I had met his mom one time and she was so nice, I can see what a great cop she was. Me and her son were best friends, he was an amazing person with a great sense of humor, I'm sure he doesn't even remember me anymore since it's been 5 years now. But I love him to death, God bless him and his family.

    Isabel M.

  34. Sadly one of their sons committed suicide late November. Your family are in my prayers.

    1. That is really sad. I am so sorry to hear that.

  35. I saw his picture on “Faces of Suicide”. I googled his name and I read the story regarding his parents. Man, I can’t imagine what the family has had to endure. Please accept my deepest, loving condolences. You will be in my prayers for comfort and calm to take over your hearts. My heart breaks for all of you.


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