BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET)— It’s been 21 years since sisters, Emily Gause, 18, and Carissa Gause, 20, were brutally murdered in their first apartment together on Quincy Drive in Bakersfield.

Now, the girls have been dead longer than they were alive.

Cousin, Michele DeRouin says, “They’ll never be forgotten. They were deeply loved by a lot of people. They had a purpose. A God-given purpose, and they were taken violently, way too early.”

The investigation revealed Carissa was beaten and shot in the head with a shotgun. Emily was beaten with an object likely a hammer. Both of the girls were dragged into the bedroom, stacked on top of one another, and set on fire with a solvent. Emily was still alive. She died later at the hospital. Investigators say Emily was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

“There is someone out there who got away with something, and there’s people who know who that person is, guaranteed,” said DeRouin.

Carissa’s former live-in boyfriend was arrested. After being held for more than a year, he was released and the District Attorney dropped the charges because there was no DNA match. That was 2004.

No one has been arrested for the murders since.

“I think the family just would really be able to heal a little more if the person who committed this heinous crime would be brought to justice, but in the end we need to keep their memory alive, and I want everyone to know they were wonderful girls. Sweet, loving girls,” said DeRouin.

DeRouin is now serving as the girls’ voice, since their dad, Paul died. She says the DA’s office mentioned testing DNA evidence on clothing and the bottle cap of the solvent. DeRouin says that was two years ago.

In the meantime, Emily and Carissa’s family has not and will not stop in finding justice. The family has a FaceBook page in their honor called, “Remembering Carissa and Emily Gause.”

If you know anything about this cold case please call the Secret Witness Program, where you can remain anonymous, at 322-4040.