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Reward increased in 1981 murder of young mom stabbed 25 times in NE Harris County

Karen Douglas and her husband had just welcomed their baby daughter when an intruder attacked her in their home with the 3-month-old nearby.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — The reward has been increased in the 1981 cold case involving a young mother who was stabbed 25 times in northeast Harris County.

$6,000 is now being offered for any information that leads to the arrest of the suspect who murdered Karen Douglas.

Forty years ago, the 22-year-old bride was home with her 3-month-old daughter when she was stabbed to death inside her home on Croteau Drive. Her husband, Randy Douglas, was at work at the time. 

“I left for work that morning and then by noon, I didn't have a wife," Randy said.

RELATED: Missing Pieces: Can DNA, sketch help solve 1981 murder of young mom named Karen Douglas?

At 23 years old, it was the last thing Randy thought he would ever have to endure.

“To see, to see your wife, your wife’s dead body. It's scary."

She fought like hell, investigators said, to protect their 3-month-old baby.

A baby, who is now all grown up.

“It is difficult sometimes, because I didn't know her. I mean, I've heard stories about her and that I'm just like her," said Chrissy Ross, John and Karen's daughter.

'A punk kid' in a ski mask

As investigators interviewed other family members, they learned Karen had barely escaped a home invasion days before she was brutally murdered. 

“She said she saw this guy with a ski mask and he had a knife and he pushed his way through," said Debra Perich, Karen's sister-in-law. “I said, did you get to see anything about him? And she said… 'He was a punk kid.'"

Karen wasn’t the only victim. Investigators say a month before the murder there were other women who reported being stalked by a man in a ski mask carrying a knife.

“The ladies in that area at that time were scared to death," said Sgt. Dennis Wolfford, Harris County Sheriff's Office.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said there were other unsolved home invasions in the area even after Karen's death, in which women who were home alone were attacked with a knife. 

It remains unclear if Karen's death is linked to those other crimes.

Cash reward for information

A $3,000 reward for information leading to an arrest is routinely offered on all cases on the Texas Rangers’ Cold Case website. The reward in Karen Douglas' case now stands at $6,000.

To be eligible for the reward, tipsters must call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-8477. All tips are anonymous.

MORE: Missing Pieces investigations 

Tipsters can also submit information through the Texas Rangers’ Cold Case website or by phone to the Missing Persons Hotline at 1-800-346-3243.

The higher reward amount will only be paid if the tip is submitted before the next case is featured on The Texas Rangers’ Cold Case website.

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