Teen's disappearance, death remain unsolved
It's been 15 years since the remains of Kimberlie Krimm were discovered on a hillside overlooking McKeesport and Versailles Cemetery, but the memory of the unsolved case remains a poignant one for her family and the community.
The 14-year-old last was seen alive by family when she left her McKeesport home on June 30, 1998, to visit a friend and go to a nearby store to buy hair coloring. When she didn't return home, she was reported missing. The girl's decomposing body was discovered six days later by a Duquesne Light contractor near an area of the cemetery that was a popular shortcut for those walking or running local errands.
Though it officially remains a mystery how the girl died, her mother, Jeanie Krimm, believes she was murdered. No one was ever charged in connection with the girl's death.
As the years pass, Krimm said recently, “I still hold out hope (that the case will be solved) but that hope fades as time passes. More than likely I'm going to go to my grave not knowing who killed Kimmie.”
Krimm noted her daughter would have turned 30 this year. Instead of celebrating a landmark birthday, however, she said she and other family members instead will have to go one more year coping with a tragedy that lacks closure.
“I never got a chance to see her have a job or raise a family,” Krimm said. “I'm mad and I'm hurt.”
Investigators never officially classified the death as a homicide because the body was in an advanced state of decay when it was found, something officials have attributed to weather conditions.
Krimm said she still thinks about how things could have played out differently. Not everyone — including her daughter — carried cell phones in that era. A call for help could have made a difference.
Operating under a theory that her daughter may have mouthed off to someone who in turn assaulted her, Krimm also wishes, if that is what happpened, that the assailant would have just let the incident go instead of responding with deadly force.
Though she's thought about a lot of what-if scenarios, Krimm said she holds out hope that the investigation will lead to an arrest.
McKeesport Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi, who was a McKeesport police detective at the time, described the investigation as “one of those cases that I personally can never forget.”
“I pray there will be resolution for what really happened out there and that the person who did it is held responsible,” Riazzi said.
The district judge said the case will never be closed but the hope of solving it now most likely rests on someone coming forth and making a statement to authorities.
“It's the family more than anyone who has to endure the suffering,” Riazzi said. “They have to endure the lack of closure.”
Tom Greene, now assistant chief of the McKeesport police department, said the case is hard to forget because the victim was so young.
Greene said he thinks investigators followed all leads as far as they could take them.
“Everything that could have been done was done,” Greene said. “There really wasn't much to go on.”
Krimm said she puts much of her energy nowadays into trying to prevent violence and help victims of violence recover. She's active on social media and jokes about preaching from her soapbox.
“My job now is to try to comfort other mothers who are going through this,” she said. “It does get easier with time.”
Krimm said she doesn't have all of the answers to stopping violent crime, but said teens need to think before they act. She said young people often escalate violent behavior by posting images of booze, drugs and money on Facebook.
“Too many of us mothers are grieving over our babies being put in body bags,” she said. “This violence has to stop.”
Anyone with information about the case should call McKeesport police at 412-675-5015 or Allegheny County police at 412-473-3000. Callers can remain anonymous.
Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Lessons at Legion give learners tools to swing onto dance floor
- Phyllis Wheatley Literary Society honors black officers at annual Law Enforcers Salute
- County shuts down Clairton demolition work
- Mon Valley steelworkers rally for new contract
- Grant will benefit Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin
- Clairton board OKs moves
- Volunteers restore stands at former Duquesne football field
- McKeesport Area schools to provide outreach activities
- West Mifflin Area boosts technology
- Wilson Christian upgrades facility
- Allegheny DA’s office ends probe of school administrator Martell