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Assumed Deceased: Crystal Kipper - MO - 02/24/1997

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National Center for Missing Adults (NCMA)

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Above Images: Kipper, circa 1997

Crystal Kipper

Classification: Endangered Missing Adult

Date of Birth: 1978-04-17

Date Missing: 1997-02-24

From City/State: Kansas City, MO

Missing From (Country): USA

Age at Time of Disappearance: 18

Gender: Female

Race: White

Height: 65 inches

Weight: 125 pounds

Hair Color: Brown

Eye Color: Brown

Complexion: Medium

Identifying Characteristics: Scar on right cheek.

Clothing: Dark green shirt, denim coat.

Jewelry: Diamond cluster ring, gold band.

Circumstances of Disappearance: Unknown. Crystal was last seen at approx. 2:20am on the southbound shoulder of I-29 at State Rt. 371 when her vehicle ran out of fuel. Her ID cards, pay stub, car keys, and the clothing she was last seen wearing were later located in a convicted sex offender's home during an investigation involving an abduction and sexual assault of another woman.

[align=center]Investigative Agency: Platte County Sheriff's Office

Phone: (816) 858-2424

Investigative Case #: 97-3197


If you have seen any of our missing persons, please call the law enforcement agency listed on the post. All missing persons are loved by someone, and their families deserve to find the answers they seek in regards to the disappearance.

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KSHB: Investigators

Investigators: The Crystal Kipper Case.

February 6, 2007

Two families, reunited with their kidnapped sons, Ben Ownby and Shawn Hornbeck. It is being called the "Miracle in Missouri." It is an outcome that offers hope to parents of other missing children in Missouri and Kansas.

This month marks the 10-year anniversary of Crystal Kipper's disappearance.

"Just stood and watched the news like everyone else and cried," said Crystal's mother, Anna Kipper.

Instead of hoping Crystal may some day return home, Anna waits for a different outcome – a final chapter that may someday arrive in a letter.

A beautiful teenage girl vanishes a decade ago without a trace. Then, a hand-written letter arrives for NBC Action News Investigator Keith King and the cold case heats up.

"I still have that hope," Anna said.

The mystery surrounding Crystal's disappearance began as a night of fun at Crown Center. Crystal and friends went ice skating there on Feb. 23, 1997. At the end of the night, she drove a friend home to St. Joseph.

But on her way back to Kansas City, police believe she ran into trouble. Her car stalled on I-29 north of Kansas City International Airport. The next day, friends found her car, but Crystal has not been seen since.

Platte County Sheriff's Department Capt. Paul Carrill remembers: "That morning, I was traveling north on I-29 about 7 o'clock in the morning and I recall seeing the little red Ford Probe, Crystal's car, along the side of the road."

Now, a decade after Crystal's mother first filed the missing person's report, investigators rarely see a new lead come in.

"We do tend to get one or two tips annually," Carrill said. "There have been some years where we do get more than that. There are years we get less than that."

Leads like the hand-written letter King received. The writer described finding a patch of freshly dug dirt in a pasture while out hunting mushrooms soon after Crystal's disappearance. The writer included a map of the location. NBC Action News turned that letter over to police.

"We did approach that tip with that mindset," Carrill said. "We could possibly recover or find her."

That tip turned out to be a dead end for police. It will be added to all the evidence and tips police have collected in the case over the past 10 years stored in boxes. Though the evidence points to a sad outcome, there is always hope.

Tips are the key to any case, and this one is no exception. Just like the one police received five months after Crystal vanished.

Police arrested John E. Williams for the kidnapping and rape of a woman he held captive for days in his apartment. It was there that police made a shocking discovery when they found items belonging to Crystal Kipper.

[align=center]Click on the link provided above to read the complete news article.[/align]

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The Charley Project: Crystal L. Kipper

Details of Disappearance

Kipper drove to St. Joseph, Missouri from her family's residence in Kansas City to pick up a friend during the evening of February 24, 1997. The low-fuel warning light in her 1989 maroon Ford Probe LX activated as she was driving her friend back to St. Joseph at approximately 1:00 a.m. She refused to stop for a gas fill-up, saying that her car always had good gas milage and she could return to Kansas City without topping the tank. Kipper's family said that she used her AAA Auto Club membership several times prior to February 1997 after allowing her car to run out of fuel while driving.

Kipper dropped her friend off in St. Joseph at approximately 2:00 a.m. and promised to call him by 3:00 a.m. to announce her arrival home. Her friend fell asleep while waiting for her call. Kipper's car apparently ran out of fuel shortly after 2:30 a.m. as she drove down Interstate 29. A truck driver observed a dark-haired Caucasian female flagging down traffic with a concerned look on her face by the southbound shoulder of the highway at approximately 2:34 a.m. The woman fit Kipper's description. The witness told investigators that he saw another vehicle backing up on the exit ramp towards the woman's car as he passed. Kipper has never been seen again.

Kipper's mother discovered her daughter's Probe later in the morning on Interstate 29. The hazard lights were on and the vehicle's battery was low. There was no sign of Kipper at the scene.

Authorities searched the Kansas City, Missouri residence of John E. Williams later in 1997 when he was implicated in the abduction and sexual assault of another woman. Investigators discovered Kipper's identification cards, paycheck stub, car keys, mock turtleneck and jeans inside Williams's home. DNA tests confirmed that the clothing belonged to Kipper and investigators believed the damage to the clothing was consistent with a homicide. Williams was questioned about Kipper's case and claimed he accidentally struck and killed her with his vehicle on the night of February 24 on Interstate 29. Williams was a convicted sex offender and told authorities he was scared to become implicated in the crime, so he placed Kipper's body in his car and disposed of her remains. He initially refused to divulge her burial location, but eventually led investigators to the Platte City area. Nothing was discovered during an extensive search.

Authorities learned that Williams had his car's windshield repaired the day after Kipper vanished. They believed it was damaged by someone kicking it during a struggle. Williams denied the statement and denied intentionally killing Kipper. Several witnesses provided tips which placed Kipper's body in the woods of Platte County, but no evidence was located to confirm the reports.

Williams was imprisoned for the rape and abduction of the other Missouri woman and was about to be charged with Kipper's homicide when he committed suicide in his cell in April 1999. Williams died without stating the location of Kipper's remains. Kipper had been an exotic dancer in the Kansas City area in 1996, but had decided to leave the industry at the time of her disappearance and had secured employment elsewhere. Her case remains unsolved.

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St. Joseph News-Press, St. Joseph, MO

Families of missing cope by sharing emotion


Families of missing people quite often don't have the means to express frustration over a situation grounded in the unknown.

That's when people like Kelly Jolkowski step forward. The Omaha, Neb., woman's 19-year-old son Jason disappeared from home in 2001. The sense of not knowing what happened to Jason and faith in God led her to create a nonprofit organization to assist families like hers with their own searches of loved ones.

"We had no idea what to do," Mrs. Jolkowski said. "You're frightened at what's going on. Nobody hands you a manual."

Project Jason eventually promoted a new Nebraska law that created a clearinghouse of missing-person information. Mrs. Jolkowski drew inspiration from an Iowa law written to help locate missing people. An effort is under way to pass a law in Missouri that would establish law enforcement's procedures for handling missing-persons and remains cases and using DNA to solve both types of cases.

More than just working through lawmakers, however, the organization acts to support families undergoing a host of emotions.

"Many families are isolated," she said. "No one really knows how you're feeling. We're there to help them understand."

Becky Klino, of Skidmore, Mo., whose son Branson Perry also disappeared in 2001, has relied on Mrs. Jolkowski and the organization's services to help her cope and spread calls for assistance. Several Internet Web sites, blogs and posters tacked on truck stop walls represent part of her effort to draw attention to Mr. Perry. Most of the Web sites contain an age-progression photo of how Mr. Perry might appear today in his mid-20s.

"Sometimes it's just important that I know you remember my son," Ms. Klino said.

She talks with other families in the blogs to consider their next sensible steps. The conversations revolve around reactions to special occasions such as holidays. Mr. Perry's recent birthday was a particularly difficult time for her to endure.

"It's OK to be mad. It's OK to survive," she said of lessons gathered in the forums.

She also receives encouragement and support from family and co-workers.

Anna Rea - mother of 18-year-old Crystal Kipper, who went missing in 1997 - offers to speak with families of missing persons and those of crime victims. She conveys the message through police and sheriff's departments, which she knows try to remain diligent in pursuing leads and evidence. She helped the Platte County Sheriff's Department by supplying information about her daughter's personal items, such as the type of shoes she wore when she was last seen.

"Every now and then it does help," she said of the talks. "It can be very frustrating. I let them know what they (law enforcement) are trying to do is preserve evidence. I just try to tell them to be patient. You can be active and (still) be involved."

Families linked by the circumstance of a missing loved one have attended a conference on a sponsorship by Project Jason, Mrs. Jolkowski said. The organization also held a gathering of families from the Kansas City and Omaha areas.

Family members can disagree on the best course of action to follow when a loved one goes missing.

"You can't tell someone to get over it," she said. "You do learn to adapt."

There are only two trained counselors in the nation who are experienced in missing-persons cases, she added.

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Crime Scene KC

Crystal Kipper, 10 years missing

Feb 27,2007

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It's been 10 years this month since Crystal Kipper disappeared after a night of ice-skating. KSHB's got a good overview about this case, and they talk with the missing girl's mom. (The station had gotten a tip about where Kipper's remains might be, but it turned out to be bad info.)

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Good News!

Jefferson City is starting to listen! There’s another bill that will help the missing; HB 757 which will provide guidelines for Law Enforcement so they will be better able to investigate and process evidence in a missing person’s case. Thank you Brandy and "friends of Summer" for your hard work. This bill along with SB 67 (endangered/elderly alert) will make a huge difference. It can save lives and stop criminals.

Missouri, especially rural Missouri has way too many missing persons cases. It’s time something is done about it! Contact your senators and representatives and ask them to support HB 757 & SB 67. Remember they are starting to listen.

HB 757 Establishes the Summer Shipp Act which specifies that law enforcement officers cannot refuse a written report of a missing person

HB 757 - SUMMER SHIPP ACT - Pratt, Bryan

Summary of the Introduced Bill

HB 757 -- Summer Shipp Act

Sponsor: Pratt

This bill establishes the Summer Shipp Act which specifies that

law enforcement officers cannot refuse a written report of a

missing person. In accepting a written report of a missing

person, the law enforcement agency must attempt to gather

relevant information regarding the disappearance and reasonably

respond to inquiries from the person making the report, a family

member, or any other person in a position to assist the agency in

locating the missing person. The agency must determine whether

the person missing is a high-risk missing person and, if so, to

immediately notify the State Highway Patrol.

If the person is missing for a period of 30 days, the agency must

attempt to obtain DNA samples from family members, an

authorization to release dental or skeletal x-rays, additional

photographs, dental information, and x-rays or fingerprints of

the missing person.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Mourning the loss of young lives: A city grieves with Tina Porter

By Toriano L. Porter

A steady flow of family members, friends and well-wishers streamed to the sanctuary of Speaks Chapel Thursday to pay respect to Sam and Lindsey Porter.

Mourners were greeted by a video slide show of the kids playing amongst themselves, a few playmates and their pet bulldog, Bossie. Family and friends donned buttons with a smiling Sam and Lindsey posing together, Bossie lovingly sandwiched between them. Several school-aged children and young adults wore a mixture of yellow, blue and purple ribbons to honor Sam and Lindsey's memories.

Sam and Lindsey's pictures - those engaging shots so famously attached to the missing/endangered children posters across the country - were blown up to poster size. Those images stood high above the medium-sized caskets that held the children's bodies. Lindsey's to the left, Sam's to the right. A collage of pictures from the children's lives flanked each casket.

"Those pictures sure brought back a lot of memories," said Rena Davis, the Porter kids' aunt. "It brings on somewhat a somber and reflective mood, but the family will get through it."

The children's mother, Tina Porter, was bombarded with a constant barrage of condolences, hugs and handshakes. Hundreds signed the chapel's guestbook. Tears flowed throughout the four-hour visitation. Emotions seemed to simmer, just below the boiling point.

"I know where Tina's coming from and what she's going through," said Tina Porter's friend, a visibly shaken Michelle Frye, adding she tragically lost her brother, Billy James, when he was 27. "I was totally devastated when I lost my brother. But to be here, preparing for a baby's funeral? That's just not right."

Sam and Lindsey Porter were missing since 2004. Their remains, found Sept. 8 in a shallow grave in a wooded area in Sugar Creek, were positively identified through dental records.

The cumulative impact the case has had on the region, let alone the Eastern Jackson County community, was evident. So says Anna Rea, nee Anna Kipper, who traveled nearly 30 miles from Roeland Park, Kan. to lend support.

Rea's daughter, Crystal Kipper, disappeared at age 18 from Platte County, Mo. Rea said the investigation of her daughter's disappearance led her to believe Crystal was murdered. The suspect held in connection with the disappearance killed himself in jail before authorities could get information on Crystal whereabouts. Crystal's body has never been found.

"I'm here to tell her to keep plugging along," Rae said, adding she had never met Tina Porter until Thursday. "Although there are no adequate words you could ever tell a person who is going through this, I just wanted to let her know she is not alone."

A funeral for Sam and Lindsey was held this morning at Noland Road Baptist Church, 4505 South Noland Road. A private burial followed at Lobb Cemetery.

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Missing children remembered - Missing children from Missouri

Written by Mary Rupert

Wednesday, 25 May 2011 15:00

Kenny Carter sang "Among the Missing" at the National Missing Children's Day event May 25 at Kansas City, Kansas, City Hall. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Missing children from Missouri:



Read more:

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