Twelve-year-old Kimberly spent the night at a friend's house across the street from her grandparents' home in Warren, Michigan on September 15, 1979.
At 11:00 p.m., Kimberly called her sister and said she had sneaked out of her friend's home and was calling from an outdoor phone booth not far away. Kimberly's sister told her to go back inside, but Kimberly never returned to her friend's home and has never been heard from again.
Authorities are uncertain what pay phone Kimberly was calling her sister from; she said that it was a short walk from her grandparents' home, but one witness said he saw Kimberly using the phone several miles away.
Kimberly's case was originally classified as a possible runaway, but it is now classified as a non-family abduction with probable foul play. Although Kimberly was known to occasionally stay out until late at night, she doesn't have a history of runaway behavior and the authorities no longer believe that she left of her own accord.
Investigators discovered that Kimberly may have traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan after her disappearance, but the leads did not pan out. Then, authorities theorized that Kimberly may have been a victim of a serial killer of children in Oakland County, Michigan.
The killer (nicknamed "The Babysitter" because he bathed and fed the children prior to their deaths) is believed to be responsible for the abductions and homicides of two boys and two girls around Kimberly's age in 1976 and 1977. The children were all held captive for several days before being slain. No one has ever been charged in connection with any of the murders.
If Kimberly was a victim of the killer, her case is atypical; in the other cases, the victim's bodies were left out in plain view by roadways and were found fairly quickly, but Kimberly's remains have never been located.
David Norberg was considered a suspect in the case for many years; he was employed in Warren at the time of Kimberly's disappearance and he lived just two streets away from Kimberly's home. He was killed in a car accident near Recluse, Wyoming in 1981.
After Norberg's death, jewelry allegedly belonging to several of the Oakland County child victims was found among his belongings. However, he was never charged in connection with any of Kimberly's disappearance or any of the murders.
In September of 1999, Norberg's body was exhumed and his DNA was compared to a single strand of unidentified hair discovered on the final murder victim, Timothy King.
In November of 2002, authorities announced that Norberg's DNA did not match the hair found on Timothy, but they weren't ruling him out entirely as a suspect because he fits the serial killer's profile very well, and there is circumstantial evidence linking him to the murders. Investigators still think he might have been involved in Kimberly's apparent abduction if not the murders.
The Oakland County serial killer has never been identified, but one male victim's family sued a suspect, Ted Lamborgine, for his wrongful death in 2007; it is not clear whether or not Kimberly was a victim of the same person who killed the others.
Ream was convicted of rape in the 1970s. In 1986, he raped and murdered Cindy Zarzycki, a thirteen-year-old girl who was dating his son. He was convicted of Cindy's murder and in 2008, he lead authorities to her body, which was buried on a 24-acre property that he owned 30 miles from Detroit, Michigan.
While in prison, Ream reportedly told cellmates that he was a serial killer with four to six victims. In May of 2018, police began digging at the same property where Cindy had been buried, expecting to find the bodies of other missing girls there, but no human remains were located and the digging stopped after a week.
Kimberly's grandmother died in 1995. Prior to her death, she purchased a cemetery plot for her granddaughter. Kimberly's two sisters still hope that she may be located.
As of 2018, her case remains unsolved.
Kimberly is described as a Caucasian female with blonde hair & blue eyes, is 5'5 and weighs 105 pounds. She has a gap located between her upper front teeth and her upper incisor is peg-shaped.
She was last seen wearing a blue sweater and Levi's jeans.