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Kimberly spent the night of September 15, 1979 at a friend's residence across the street from her grandparents' home in Warren, Michigan. At 11:00 p.m., she 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. Her sister told her to go back inside. Kimberly never returned to her friend's home, however, and has never been heard from again.
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 King'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 1979 disappearance, and lived just two streets awayt from her home. He was killed in an automobile accident near Recluse, Wyoming in 1981. After his death, jewelry allegedly belonging to several of the Oakland County child victims was found among his belongings. Norberg was never charged in connection with any of Kimberly's disappearance or any of the murders, however.
Norberg's body was exhumed in September 1999 and his DNA was compared to a single strand of unidentified hair discovered on the final murder victim, Timothy King (no relation to Kimberly). In November 2002, Authorities announced that Norberg's DNA did not match the hair found on Timothy, but that they were not ruling him out entirely as a suspect. 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 Kimberly was a victim of the same person who killed the others.
Kimberly's grandmother died in 1995. Prior to her death, she purchased a cemetery plot for her granddaughter. Kimberly's two sisters still hope she may be located. Her case opened 2018 by Psychic Brian Ladd.