Daughter of murder victim raising money to help others

Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 9:46 AM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - It’s been one year since the father of an Omaha woman was murdered, he was the victim of a violent crime spree in Council Bluffs.

Now, his daughter is using the tragedy to help others who have suffered the same fate.

“He was adventurous, for sure,” Krysta Carlson said about her father.

They are the best memories she has of him.

“When we were kids, we used to ride four-wheelers — it was just our favorite hobby to do as a family," she said.

But memories are all she has now.

“My father was murdered by people he didn’t even know,” Carlson said.

Seen in drone video captured moments after a pursuit, Troy Petersen held April Montello Roberts hostage. The two were wanted in connection with a three-day crime spree through Council Bluffs.

“They broke into his house and shot him,” Carlson said.

Steven Carlson was a victim of that crime spree. He was found dead in his Council Bluffs home on Aug. 7, 2019. Police said he was shot three times by Peterson when he and Montello Roberts tried to break in.

“It’s not even like it was a personal attack, you know what I mean?” Krysta Carlson said.

Three days earlier, Jerrot Clark was also murdered.

The violence ended in a stand-off. Deputies shot Peterson dead and arrested Montello Roberts, who pled guilty and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Despite the justice, Carlson says it’s still a struggle for her.

“I’m too young not to have a dad," she said. “You get mad — you get angry.”

It’s anger fueled by hope lost. Her father beat cancer and went into remission only to be murdered months later.

“It’s almost like God gave him a second chance, and it was completely stolen from him. That’s how I feel about it," Carlson said. “I know in my heart my dad would want me to move forward in a positive way.”

So that’s exactly what she is doing. Carlson designed two T-shirts with a message of peace and her father’s best memories.

“Maybe we can try to stop one of the act of evil, one act of violence,” she said.

Krysta Carlson has set up a GoFundMe account, raising money for the Family Crisis Centers that help western Iowa survivors of homicide and other violent crimes. She hopes to raise at least $2,000.

Losing a loved one is hard enough, she said, let alone one that’s been murdered.

“Little bit of weight lifted off your shoulders, because that’s just a tough time. To add money (issues) on top of that, it’s not necessary,” Carlson said.

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