This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," October 16, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: A college coed and former beauty queen killer. Where is this killer? Or maybe, where are they? Kayla Fanaei, the 20-year-old University of Alabama at Birmingham student, was shot to death in her car on October 8 just after 1:00 a.m.
WAPI radio news director Lisa Holifield has been closely following the story. She joins us in Birmingham with the latest. Lisa, is there any update in the search for this young woman's killer?
LISA HOLIFIELD, WAPI AM RADIO: This case really remains a mystery, Greta. It really does. We thought at first, you know, Is this a carjacking? But they didn't take the vehicle. We thought, Is this a robbery? But they didn't take any of her belongings, we're told, that were inside her vehicle. There was no sexual assault. So all we're left with is this life that was taken by one shot from a brutal killer, and no one understands what the motive could possibly be and that's causing a lot of pain.
VAN SUSTEREN: Lisa, is there any proof or evidence that it was a single killer?
HOLIFIELD: We know that she talked of more than one man, and we know it was a single gunshot wound to the head, which would lead you to believe that, yes, it was, in fact, one killer. And we're getting a lot of questions. Was it somebody that may have been familiar or may have known Kayla? We don't believe so. They do believe that this was a random thing.
But again, it's difficult when we don't seem to have any motive in the case, and it's very difficult for police right now because they're looking for clues, and they just aren't finding very many. And part of this equation is it was 1:00 o'clock on a Monday. If it had been a Friday or a Saturday, maybe there had been more people in the streets who could have seen this crime take place and would then cooperate with police. But there are very few clues right now.
One thing we do know is that a small, dark vehicle was seen leaving the scene shortly after Kayla was murdered. But they continue to comb for clues, and that's why the reward in this case, Greta, is of such importance.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Take me back about an hour or two hours before Kayla was viciously gunned down in the front seat of her automobile. Where was she? What was she doing?
HOLIFIELD: She was at a surprise birthday party with friends at UAB, soccer players, having just a terrific time with friends. Left on her own to her convertible BMW, was about five blocks away from where she was killed when she got a phone call from one of her best friends. And she decided, we think, to park, so she wouldn't be driving and talking on the cell phone. That's when — while she was talking to the friends, she told this friend, Some men are approaching my car.
Then they approached the car, and the friend says he couldn't hear exactly what was said but she did speak to these men and she did indicate that it was more than one person. She spoke to them. They went away. She continued her conversation with her friend. And then she said to her friend on the phone, They're coming back, I'm afraid. And he said, Kayla, get out of there. That's when he heard just a tremendously loud, distorted sound on the cell phone. And after that, it's believed is when Kayla was shot.
And this is part of — the stunning part of the case is that he would shoot through a locked car with the windows up. The convertible top was up. And it's believed she either then was shot to death and fell forward and that the car went into drive and then crashed into some nearby signs, or that she was trying to get away from them when she was shot. But it appears she was ambushed and brutally murdered.
VAN SUSTEREN: Lisa, thank you.
Kayla's family is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to her killer or killers. Kayla's mother, Robin Fanaei, joins us in Birmingham. Robin, I regret I didn't realize at the time when we booked this show that you would have to listen to those horrible facts. You're probably sitting in the same studio. Our condolences go out to you. We talk to parents all the time, and losing a child is the worst. So you know, I'm sorry for you and your family.
ROBIN FANAEI, MURDERED STUDENT'S MOTHER: Thank you so much. And thank you for the compassion and concern that all of you are showing. And it means a lot for — to us, you know, me and my family, to get this word out there that we have got to find this person so that no other family and no other person will have to go through this.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, that's what we're hoping to do, to get as much — we put your daughter's picture out there, hoping that somebody knows something, someplace, or that maybe someone even says something to help bring justice for Kayla. Is there — I mean, how do you describe Kayla? What was she like?
FANAEI: She was the most precious person, a beautiful spirit. I know that I'm still in shock and everything, but more than anything, I'm absolutely in awe of the person that she was. I knew what she meant to me, but I had no idea that she meant as much to other people. Kayla worked this summer. She volunteered at the crisis center on the suicide hotline. And she just — that was her mission. She said on her Myspace account, and it was quoted in her funeral service, that her goal was to change the world, even if that meant just one person's perspective.
VAN SUSTEREN: Not that it could in any way, you know, fill the void left by Kayla, but do you have other children?
FANAEI: I do. I have a son. Yes, I do.
VAN SUSTEREN: How is he dealing with this?
FANAEI: He is — as Kayla would be, he's been my rock. Nothing — I don't answer any questions, I don't do any interviews, I don't do anything without consulting with him and his father. You know, we are all in this together.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is there anyone you know or has Kayla — did she ever express any fear of anybody or any reason why someone would want to harm her?
FANAEI: No, never. Never.
VAN SUSTEREN: Nobody's ever — she never said that she had an old boyfriend or anything like that or that she lives in a dangerous neighborhood, nothing like that?
FANAEI: You know, she had an ex-boyfriend, but she never, you know, acted scared of him. You know, the breakup wasn't the best ever, but she wasn't — you know, she never told me that she was scared of what he would do. More than anything, she acted more concerned about his wellbeing.
VAN SUSTEREN: So this looks like just one of the most vicious, random, horrible, ugly crimes?
FANAEI: It really does.
VAN SUSTEREN: Without any motive, not even robbery as a motive. Robin, thank you. Our condolences to you and your family. Hopefully, by putting her picture up and the $20,000 reward, that somebody will maybe come forward and get justice for your daughter. Thank you, Robin.
FANAEI: Thank you for having us. Thank you.
Content and Programming Copyright 2007 FOX News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2007 Voxant, Inc. (www.voxant.com), which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon FOX News Network, LLC'S and Voxant, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.