Dateline   |  April 07, 2014

The Girl With The Blue Mustang, Part 2

Did this innocent victim predict her own death? Her family shares a premonition Michelle mentioned shortly before her murder.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> it was a brand-new ford mustang . it was bright blue , real pretty car.

>> reporter: the stage on which the last moments of michelle o'keefe's life played out was, if nothing else, dramatic.

>> it was the only vehicle in the parking lot . in terms of the just looking at it, you would gravitate toward that car because of its appearance.

>> reporter: and now it was a crime scene. detective richard longshore scoured every blue shiny inch of that mustang looking for apparently nonexistent evidence.

>> number 60, miss michelle o'keefe.

>> reporter: and if her car was almost new, well, she was too. just 18, just starting a life.

>> in two years, 1999 --

>> reporter: the mustang two months earlier was a christmas present in this her first year as a college student . at high school she had been a star student, a popular cheerleader.

>> michelle had a great heart. she was nice to everybody. she was friends with all the different groups of people, not just cheerleaders. she always thought of other people first.

>> it's so hard to imagine.

>> she was always there for others. that was one thing that i could count on her if i ever needed anything she was only a cell phone call away.

>> whenever you're not grounded, call me.

>> reporter: and here was the weird thing. nothing about what happened made any sense. michelle of all people lived a low-risk life. she was popular at school. devoted to her family and quite deeply religious. she was certainly not a party girl . there were no boyfriends to attract suspicion, no enemies at all. certainly not someone who would want to kill her, but there was one little quirk in her otherwise optimistic life. michelle had a rather strange premonition that she occasionally shared with her family.

>> she goes, you know, i have a strange feeling, dad, that i'm not going to live much longer and i just sort of sat back. i said, wait a minute, i said is there anybody bothering you? no, i had this feeling that i'm not going to be around much longer.

>> that means she's going to die before each other. how are we going to pay each other? we'll see each other in heaven. and then you'll get your money. we joked around about it. little did i know a year later she'd be gone.

>> reporter: then something truly odd. soon after she got that mustang, the license plates arrived in the mail.

>> and she came to me and the last three digits on the license plate were 187 and she goes -- tad, i want these on my car.

>> what's 187?

>> she said that's the police code for homicide, dad.

>> reporter: whatever it was that michelle sensed, whatever the danger she imagined might be out there, she was apparently ready for it.

>> i used to always tell her to be careful, michelle , because she was so pretty and guys might try to make advances. she said, don't worry, mom, i won't let anybody take me away. i'd rather die than be raped.

>> reporter: now, as michelle lay dead in her car, purse at her side, nothing stolen, detective longshore took another look at the way the killer left her.

>> her blouse -- her tube top had been dislodged exposing portions of her breasts.

>> reporter: this may have been an attempt at a sexual assault?

>> yes.

>> reporter: had michelle fought valiantly for her life as she once told her mother she would. who fired the gun? four shots almost point blank and why here in this most remote of parking lots ? perhaps there was a clue. something michelle mentioned months earlier, just a hint but could it lead to her killer? coming