Texas couple tries to solve their daughter’s mysterious death

In a heart-rending pursuit of justice, the parents of 19-year-old college student Kaylee Mandad, who died tragically in 2017, transformed into investigators to unravel the truth behind their daughter’s death. Kaylee died from blunt force trauma to her face and head after a night out with her sometime boyfriend, Mark Howton. The first trial in 2019 ended in a mistrial, but by the second trial in 2023, Kaylee’s parents, Allison Steel and Lawrence Baand, a scientist and NASA engineer, respectively, were determined to provide crucial evidence.

A Family’s Determination to Uncover the Truth

Allison and Lawrence delved deep into the autopsy photos, fixating on the injuries Kaylee sustained. They were convinced that the key to solving the case lay in understanding the pattern of these injuries. Their theory was that Kaylee’s fatal injury occurred when Howton, from his driver’s seat, struck her, causing her head to hit the window and the lock button of the car.

The couple’s background in science and engineering proved pivotal. They meticulously analyzed the details, even going to a used car lot to recreate the scenario in a car similar to Howton’s Mercedes. Allison posed in various positions while Lawrence photographed her, comparing these images with autopsy pictures to match the injuries with the car’s interior.

Lawrence went a step further, creating a 3D model of Kaylee’s head. This allowed for a detailed analysis of how her injuries could have occurred within the car’s interior. In a remarkable twist, Lawrence even tracked down and purchased the actual car in which Kaylee was injured, after Howton had sold it in 2018. Examining the car provided them with tangible evidence to support their theory.

To present their findings in court, Kaylee’s parents commissioned a video reenactment of the incident, using actors to demonstrate their theory of how Kaylee was fatally injured. They intentionally avoided viewing the video themselves to maintain objectivity in case they were called to testify.

The video reenactment offered a visual and compelling narrative of the events leading to Kaylee’s death, potentially a powerful tool for the prosecution. The approach taken by Kaylee’s parents illustrates not only their profound love and determination but also the lengths to which they went to seek justice for their daughter.

Their investigation and the resulting evidence they gathered played a crucial role in the second trial, offering a clearer picture of the events that led to Kaylee’s tragic death. This case is a testament to the power of a family’s resolve in the face of unimaginable loss and the impact of innovative investigative techniques in seeking truth and justice.

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In conclusion, the tragic story of Kaylee Mandad is one of profound loss, but also of remarkable parental dedication and ingenuity. Allison Steel and Lawrence Baand’s efforts to uncover the truth about their daughter’s death exemplify the lengths to which loved ones will go to seek justice. Their story is a poignant reminder of the enduring bond of family and the relentless pursuit of truth in the face of adversity.

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