Details of Disappearance Karen was last seen in Pasadena, Maryland sometime during the winter months of 1976. She was living with her grandmother, Olga Kamsch, in the 50 block of Wishing Rock Road at the time. She was a straight-A student at Brooklyn Park Senior School and had skipped the sixth grade.
However, around the time of her disappearance she had been getting into trouble and had also run away from home several times. It is reported that she may have been abused, but the nature of the abuse and the identity of the abuser(s) have not been disclosed. She had moved in with her grandmother because she was having problems with her family.
Olga told everyone that Karen ran away during the winter of 1976. She said she realized the child was missing when Karen did not arrive at school. She left behind all of her belongings, including her winter coat. Karen has never been heard from again and there has been no indication of her whereabouts since 1976.
In 2007, Karen's younger brother contacted police to inquire as to the status of her case. Olga and Karen's father had said they reported Karen as a missing child in 1976, but investigators have found no record of the report. It is unclear whether the report was never made, or whether it was simply misplaced or destroyed in the intervening three decades.
Olga died in 1999, and Karen's aunt and uncle now live in the house on Wishing Rock Road. A new missing persons report was officially filed for Karen on May 15, 2007, and police began interviewing her friends and surviving relatives.
Authorities believe foul play may have been involved in Karen's disappearance, as they cannot find any records of her existence after 1976. Her case is being treated as a homicide.
Investigators searched Olga and Karen's former home for evidence, and sucked five feet of debris out of a dried-up well behind the house. They stated they have a person of interest in Karen's disappearance and this individual is a close associate or relative of hers.
The investigation is ongoing and Karen's disappearance remains unsolved.
- Anne Arundel County Police Department
Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated April 24, 2014; age-progession added.