Casper Shooting Victim's Father Shares Broken Heart

The father of Lenea Brown, 17, who was gunned down at a Casper park Tuesday, told Cowboy State Daily he's devastated. He wants justice for his daughter who exuded compassion, including wanting to give the brother of Bobby Maher a hug “and tell him it’s going to be OK.”

DK
Dale Killingbeck

May 18, 20245 min read

Shooting victim Lenea Brown turned 17 on May 4. She was shot and killed May 14. The day of her death, her dad received the copy of her birth certificate he had been seeking so he could help her get her driver’s license.
Shooting victim Lenea Brown turned 17 on May 4. She was shot and killed May 14. The day of her death, her dad received the copy of her birth certificate he had been seeking so he could help her get her driver’s license. (Courtesy David Henrikson)

CASPER — David Henrikson’s voice chokes as he talks about the loss of his 17-year-old daughter less than a week removed from her violent murder at a local park Tuesday — and only 10 days removed from her birthday May 4.

Lenea Brown was shot in the head and killed in a southwest Casper neighborhood in the 6300 block of Buckboard Road at Buckboard Park just after midnight Tuesday. Police have charged 15-year-old Eavan Castaner, her former boyfriend with, her murder.

“She was the sweetest girl,” a shocked and devastated Henrikson told Cowboy State Daily. “She loved animals, any kind of animal, bugs, spiders, worms. She loved everybody.”

The Natrona County High School junior was an enrolled member of the Northern Arapaho tribe and her dad said she embraced her Native American identity and culture. A funeral viewing for her is planned from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday at Bustard and Jacoby Funeral Home in Casper.

Traditional services on the Wind River Reservation are planned for Thursday and Friday, Henrickson said.

Brown enjoyed spending time with her friends, and Henrikson said he had recently bought a dirt bike for her that she loved to invite friends over to ride.

Her Friends

Those three key friends, who with Brown hung tight together are Brynli Ungricht, 16, Makenzie Decoteau, 17, both juniors, and Madi Jensen, 15, sophomore. They freely offered thoughts about her.

Ungricht said she had been friends with Brown since seventh grade and what she appreciated most about her was her smile that would be present “no matter what.”

“She was always cheering everyone up if anything was wrong,” she said. “She was always there for me no matter what.”

For Decoteau, who knew Brown for two years, she said she was drawn to her because “she cared for everyone around her.” Brown also made sure the quartet followed the rules.

“She would always be ‘momming’ us around,” she said. “If we weren’t buckled she would yell at us to buckle until we wore,” she said. “She made sure we were following what we were supposed to be doing and all that.”

Jensen, a sophomore, said she only knew Brown for three or four months “but we got close really fast, because we would always hang out.”

“She was like the older sister that I never had,” she said. “She would always include me in everything us four would do together and she would also hang out with me at school.”

Birthday Party

Brown had just celebrated her 17th birthday, and the day of her death Henrikson had obtained a copy of her birth certificate so she could get her driver’s license and drive to her job at a Casper Dairy Queen.

Henrikson planned to give her his father’s car because his father recently passed away.

Henrikson said the Dairy Queen job was her first, and after 14-year-old Bobby Maher was stabbed and killed at the Eastridge Mall on April 7, Brown told her dad about how his brother also worked at the ice cream shop.

“She had come up to me — this is how beautiful she is — she had come up to me and said, ‘Dad, that kid’s brother that died at the mall, he works at my work, and I just want to go up and hug him and tell him it’s going to be OK, but I don’t know him and don’t want to make him uncomfortable,’” Henrikson said. “I told her that, ‘Maybe you should just go hug him.’”

Henrikson said Lenea was the oldest of two daughters, and he had them both with their mother as a teen. For much of their lives, he raised them himself.

“I took her to school, I picked her up. I took her to work, every day she was with me,” Henrikson said. “My whole life is wrapped around my kids. By the time I turned 18, I had two children. So, we grew up together.”

Shooting victim Lenea Brown turned 17 on May 4. She was shot and killed May 14. The day of her death, her dad received the copy of her birth certificate he had been seeking so he could help her get her driver’s license.
Shooting victim Lenea Brown turned 17 on May 4. She was shot and killed May 14. The day of her death, her dad received the copy of her birth certificate he had been seeking so he could help her get her driver’s license. (Courtesy David Henrikson)

Dinnertime Memory

The night of her death, Henrikson said he saw his daughter around 7:30 at dinnertime, and then he went over to friend’s house. Brown was pet-sitting for a relative at a different house that night.

“I had gotten home about 10 p.m. and gotten messages from her at 11 p.m. about him (Castaner) saying that he hopes she dies slowly and all kinds of stuff,” Henrikson said.

Henrikson said he told her that he would make a phone call in the morning to Castaner’s father about the messages.

“She said, ‘I just want to live my life peacefully and I want him to leave me alone,’” Henrikson said. “That was the last time I talked to her, and that was about 11 o’clock.”

After being called about the shooting, Hendrikson said he rushed to the hospital. Recalling her image there, Henrikson’s voice breaks.

He now calls for justice for his daughter.

“She was taken so violently. She wasn’t murdered, she was executed,” he said. “There wasn’t a mean bone in her body. Her work loved her, she’d just light up the room every time she walked in. She accepted everybody for who they were.”

He is asked about a favorite memory of his daughter.

“There is so much stuff,” he said. “Every day with her was my favorite memory.”

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up by Brown’s aunt to help the family with funeral expenses.

Dale Killingbeck can be reached at dale@cowboystatedaily.com.

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