Fort Worth

Fort Worth woman mourned as questions remain about her death

Celebration of life for Molly Jane Matheson

The 22-year-old victim of a homicide in Fort Worth was remembered today at McKinney Church in Fort Worth.
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The 22-year-old victim of a homicide in Fort Worth was remembered today at McKinney Church in Fort Worth.

She was the girl too afraid to answer the front door and too shy to speak to waiters at restaurants.

So it was a surprise to Molly Matheson’s brother when she visited him at college several years ago and soon connected with his friends better than he did.

“The girl who was too scared to order food was stealing my friends,” Nick Matheson said Tuesday afternoon at her funeral, recalling how his little sister had developed a unique, vibrant personality.

Hundreds filled McKinney Church in southwest Fort Worth to mourn Molly’s death as police continued to investigate her death.

Molly, 22, was found strangled April 10 in the bathroom of her garage apartment near TCU. She lived behind an upscale home on Waits Avenue, about two blocks from campus.

Detectives found no signs of forced entry at her apartment. Further details have not been released.

“Eventually, we will be OK,” her father, David Matheson, said at Tuesday’s service.

“But we will not be consumed by anger, even though we are a little angry right now.”

Family and friends at the service described Molly as deeply religious, with a sharp sense of humor.

She grew up in Winter Park, Fla., before moving to Fort Worth with her family in 2010. After graduating from Keller Timber Creek High School, she attended the University of Arkansas.

She left the school in 2015 and returned to Fort Worth, finding work as a nanny, said her mother, Tracy Matheson.

At the time of her death, she was taking classes at Tarrant County College and working as a sales manager at Soma, a women’s clothing store in the University Park Village shopping center.

She had a “quirky, understated boldness,” said her former youth pastor, Andy Cartee, who spoke at the funeral on behalf of Molly’s friends.

One day, she and a friend decided they wanted to be famous. But in her friend’s words, they were “too lazy to do anything special,” Cartee said.

So they faked it instead, posting on Facebook about their “fans” and wearing big sunglasses as they walked down the street.

Another time, in high school, Molly decided to sneak out of her last-period class to go home with a friend who was leaving early that day. The two hatched a plan, and Molly, to avoid a security guard in the parking lot, ended up hiding in the trunk of her friend’s car.

The experience was enough to scare them away from skipping class again, Cartee said.

“There are things in this life that don’t make sense, things that we don’t know,” Cartee said. “But we know that she’s in heaven.”

Her father voiced the same thought: “We know Molly can’t come back to us. But we know she lives in heaven and her love fills this room.”

But the questions surrounding her death hung over the hour-and-a-half-long service.

“There’s something wrong here today — there’s no need to deny it,” McKinney Church pastor Chris Freeland said. “This is not how our stories — especially Molly’s — are supposed to go.”

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