Missing girl focus of homicide probe

Pasadena teen vanished 3 decades ago

September 05, 2007|By Justin Fenton | Justin Fenton,Sun reporter

More than three decades after a Pasadena teenager vanished, Anne Arundel County police have filed a missing-persons report and confirmed that she is the subject of a "critical" search and homicide investigation.

Police said yesterday that an unidentified person contacted them in May of this year about the disappearance of 14-year-old Karen Beth Kamsch, who had moved in with her grandmother after having problems with her family and did not show up for school one day in the winter of 1976.

In a news release, the agency confirmed that a daylong search last week outside a home on Wishing Rock Road was connected to the cold case but would not discuss the findings. A law enforcement source said no human remains were found, contradicting some news reports.

After conducting interviews with family, friends and schoolmates, detectives determined the girl's disappearance was suspicious and "fear she was the victim of a homicide," the news release said.

On May 15 of this year, police formally filed a missing-person report.

Police would not elaborate yesterday afternoon on details of the investigation, but a news conference is scheduled for this morning, when they will appeal to the public for possible leads.

School officials apparently notified Olga Kamsch that her granddaughter had not come to school, and personal belongings such as a winter coat were still in her bedroom, police said. Though police were told Kamsch's grandmother, who died in 1999, and her father, George Norman Kamsch, called authorities and filed a missing-person report, no report could be located.

George Kamsch could not be reached for comment.

A birth certificate shows the girl was born Jan. 19, 1962, and police say school officials told them she attended Brooklyn Park Senior High School through at least June 1976.

After obtaining a search warrant, officials from the Anne Arundel County police and fire departments, along with an FBI evidence response team and Baltimore County canine unit, searched the Kamsch property for more than 12 hours on Aug. 29. A county-owned vehicle with a suction device removed debris from a well next to the home.

The couple who now live at the home were identified as the aunt and uncle of Karen Kamsch. They have declined to comment, saying police instructed them not to speak while the investigation is continuing.

justin.fenton@baltsun.com

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