Kimberly Alice King: Missing Girl May Have Been Victim of Arthur Ream

Warren Police and other law enforcement agencies are digging in a wooded, swampy area in Macomb Township outside Detroit, Michigan, hoping to find the remains of up to six missing young girls. The focus of this search is Kimberly Alice King, who was last seen on September 15, 1979. Police suspect convicted killer Arthur Ream could be behind her mysterious disappearance.  

On September 15, 1979, then 12-year-old Kimberly Alice King, who was staying at her grandparents’ home in Warren, Michigan, slept over at her friend Annie’s house. Annie lived just across the street, so it was not a cause for alarm.

About Kimberly Alice King
Height5'5" (at time of disappearance)
Weight105 lbs (at time of disappearance)
SiblingsKathie Lucas
Date of DisappearanceSeptember 16, 1979
Missing fromWarren, Michigan
Date of BirthOctober 21, 1966
GrandmotherAnna Laura King

Earlier that evening, Kimberly wanted to see a movie with her older sister Kathie, but they couldn’t use their father’s car, so they decided not to go. Kimberly reportedly called another one of her sisters, Konnie, at 11:00 p.m. later that night. She said that she was calling from an outdoor pay phone, a short walk from their grandparents’ home.

Kimberly added that she snuck out of Annie’s house through a bedroom window. Konnie then told her it was too late to be outside, and to get back to Annie’s house. That was the last time anybody ever heard from Kimberly King.

Where Could Kimberly Go?

The next day, Kimberly was reported missing. But there was no headway in the case, due to the lack of evidence. Investigators didn’t even know where to find the payphone Kimberly allegedly used to call Konnie.

Several months later, a witness told police that he saw Kimberly using a phone at about 11:00 p.m. on September 15, 1979. The location was several miles from her grandparents’ house. No search warrants were issued to help trace the call. If there had been, it is quite possible that police could have gained important information in the case.

Technology Could Have Helped

Detective Ken Marsee of the Warren Police Department said in 2010 that, had the disappearance happened decades after it did, it would have been a totally different story, considering that security footage and cell phones leave electronic trails of a person’s activity and location.

Talking about how the investigation might have been in 1979, Marsee said, “Initially, from what I could tell, the detective assigned the case thought she was a typical runaway and would be back in a couple of days. But obviously, she met up with foul play because we never heard from her again.”

Wrong Assumption Led to Delay

Kathie Lucas, née King, ran away from home several times but always came back. Police thought that Kimberly was doing the same thing, and expected her to eventually show up. That never happened.

The case file on Kimberly King shows that she sometimes stayed out most of the night, but always came back home. There was nothing to indicate that she was a runaway.

Case Gets Confusing

When Kimberly vanished, she had brown hair, stood at 5’5″, and weighed 105 pounds. She was last seeen wearing a pair of Levi’s jeans, and a blue sweater. In the early years after Kimberly’s disappearance, police had multiple false sightings of a girl who was the same age as Kimberly.

This girl hung out at the same places, and according to Marsee, “eerily looked like Kim.” This girl later came to the precinct to be photographed, and it was confirmed that she was not Kimberly King. The disappearance was later labeled a cold case.

Sister Never Gave Up Hope

The police may have given up, but the King family did not. Kathie Lucas took the investigation into her own hands, and continuously asked all of Kimberly’s friends about her sister. She concluded that a stranger kidnapped Kimberly.

A Grandmother’s Last Wish

Their grandmother, Anna Laura King, bought a plot next to hers for Kimberly at a cemetery in Clinton, Kentucky, in the hopes that her granddaughter’s body would be found and buried there. She died in 1995 and was laid to rest next to the empty spot she reserved for Kimberly.

Lucas said, “That’s all I can hope for that before I die I get to see her at least placed there.” Now, 38 years after Kimberly vanished, there is hope that the family could get some closure. Police are searching a rural wooded area in Macomb Township outside Detroit, Michigan, for Kimberly’s body, as they believe she could be one of up to six other missing girls from that time and area who were reported missing and never found. 

Kimberly King Case Reopened

Kimberly King is the focus of this search after the investigation into her disappearance has been reopened. The Warren Police Department also created a Facebook page with details of Kimberly King and her disappearance. The police request that anyone with information, or who may have known Kimberly King, come forward.

Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer told local reporters that the authorities have “probable cause to believe” that Kimberly King was buried in this area.

Kimberly King Missing

Photo: Kimberly Alice King Missing: Warren Police Department/

Dwyer added, “We also believe that there’s maybe four to six other girls that have been reported missing that are buried there. We certainly are convinced we have the right area. It’s just a sad type of situation.”

Information from a Convicted Killer

This development was set into motion when Arthur Ream, who was convicted of the first-degree murder of Cindy Zarzycki and sentenced to life in prison, gave information regarding other girls buried in the area. Ream was found guilty in 1986, and was later given a life sentence in 2008.

After his conviction, Ream, who is also a convicted pedophile, led police to Cindy’s body. Information from Ream and more convinced Warren Police that Kimberly’s body is buried in the same wooded, swampy area in Macomb Township where Cindy’s body was found 10 years ago. This site near 23 Mile Road and North Avenue could very well be the resting place of several other girls who are believed to be victims of Arthur Ream.

Arthur Ream Could Be a Serial Killer

Arthur Ream is now being considered a serial killer, and is possibly responsible for the deaths of several girls aged 12 to 17, who went missing in the late 1970s and early 1980s. According to Dwyer, if their remains are found, Ream could face charges related to their disappearances. He also said that it would take “two to three days” to determine if the bodies are there.

Arthur Ream

Arthur Ream (Photo: Michigan Department of Corrections)

A Time for Closure

The Warren Police Department is leading a task force that includes the Michigan State Police, the FBI, and the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office. If Kimberly King’s body is found, it will give a kind of closure to her family. It would also mean that she could be laid to rest beside her grandmother. After decades of searching for answers, they could find a degree of comfort knowing what happened to the 12-year-old girl.