Ten years later her disappearance from her father's home in Opp on Friday, Aug. 15, 1997 remains a mystery. The last time anyone saw Kem Ramer was about 10 p.m. on that Friday leaving her boyfriend's residence to return home, which was about five minutes away.
Two days later on August 17, her parents reported her missing. Reports at the time said she left her personal belongings behind at the home, including her eyeglasses, her contacts, jewelry, and money. From the beginning, the authorities and her family suspected foul play.
"She would have left a note for me," her father, Kenneth Ramer, said in an interview following her disappearance. "I was always reminding her to leave me a note. I even brought home a big stack of note paper not long before this happened."
Despite many pleas from her parents and offers of rewards from both the FBI and the governor of Alabama, the case is still unsolved.
"The FBI still considers it open," said Mike McDonald, Opp's assistant chief of police, "but there is nothing new that I'm aware of that is substantial."
In December of 1997, Kem's parents held an emotional press conference and begged for the public's help in locating their child. Sue Ramer told reporters that she spent her weekends searching for her child. Both parents believed someone had information that could help them.
"Somebody knows something," Kenneth Ramer said in an interview following that press conference.
His wife echoed his thoughts and begged for information.
"They may not think it is something important or they might be afraid," she said. "Please give us information if you have it."
Over the years, there were tips and leads and searches, but nothing to bring any closure for the family.
Nine months after Ramer's disappearance, investigators searched a rural Walton County lake, acting on tips that her body was there. The search lasted three days and turned up no clues relating to the case.
In 2001, a nonprofit group from Texas searched Baptism Hole with cadaver dogs and got several hits. They dug up an engine block with a rope tied to it, but had to leave the site before they could excavate it completely.
The next day the FBI brought in its own dogs, which gave no indication of smelling human remains, and no more searches were conducted in that area.
Again in 2006, investigators searched a sinkhole near Ponce de Leon, Fla., for Ramer's remains after receiving an anonymous tip, but that search also turned up no evidence.
"We still get tips every now and then," McDonald said, "but it is nothing that pans out.".......