By Mary O’KEEFE
It has been a year of hearing the phone ring and thinking maybe this time it will be her. Or going to the mailbox and finding an envelope with her name on it and for a moment thinking, “I should get this to her.” It has been a year without hearing her voice, seeing her drive into the driveway and having an empty seat at the table.
This is what it has been like for Rosalie Blum and her family since her daughter Kimberly’s disappearance.
On Thursday, June 5, 2014, Kimberly drove over to her sister’s home in the Briggs Terrace area of La Crescenta. She was helping her sister and family prepare for a party. Everything seemed normal that day, there was a lot to do in preparation for the party, but sometime around 4 p.m. Kimberly left her sister’s home and was never seen again.
She had issues in the past and had been known to leave without telling anyone but had always contacted her mother or sister, but not this time. When Rosalie arrived at the party she, family and friends began calling Kimberly but there was no answer.
At first they contacted the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station but were told to contact Los Angeles Police Dept. because Kimberly is a resident of Sunland. As the hours and days went on without word, friends and family did everything they could to help including hiring a private helicopter to search the area of Angeles National Forest. A Caltrans worker had found personal items belonging to Kimberly in an area of the Angeles National Forest.
Montrose Search and Rescue members searched the ANF for several days without finding any sign of Kimberly.
“Nothing whatsoever,” said Det. Carlton, LAPD, of the search so far. “She has completely disappeared.”
Carlton works in the Missing Persons Unit and Kimberly’s case is like others who have disappeared; however, “this is strange because usually we find the car.”
But in Kimberly’s case, there is nothing … no car found, no credit cards used and no response on social media.
Her name and information is listed on a nationwide FBI system. If any law enforcement agency in the country finds her vehicle or her, they will put the information into the system and Carlton will be notified.
Rosalie and her family are trying to remain optimistic and try to continue their lives but it is not that easy.
“I feel like I am in a quest for answers,” Rosalie said. “I don’t want to talk about her in the past tense.”
But the issue for Rosalie and other families who have missing loved ones is not just the need for answers about where their missing family members are but how to deal with everyday life while they are gone.
“I get letters for her. Credit card bills, bank statements,” she said. She was receiving bills that predated Kimberly’s disappearance and a renewal for her vehicle. Rosalie would contact the agencies, like the DMV [Dept. of Motor Vehicles], but they required a death certificate to cancel.
“How am I supposed to deal with that?” Rosalie asked.
Some agencies agreed to put everything on hold but there are still those that will not budge unless they speak with Kimberly herself.
“I have actually taken newspaper articles [concerning] Kimberly [to those offices] to show them,” Rosalie said.
The day-to-day business of dealing with a missing loved one does not overshadow the day-to-day heartache and frustration.
“If I don’t think about it too much or talk about it, it’s almost like [I expect] her to call,” she said. “This is such a different thing to deal with. I keep thinking how could this have happened?”
Kimberly Blum is 45-years-old, Caucasian, brown hair and blue eyes and is 5”2” tall, weighing 140 pounds. She was last seen in the Briggs Terrace area of La Crescenta, driving a silver 2004 Honda CRV with California license plate number 5JVU774. At the time of her disappearance she was wearing a black tank top. The Blum family has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the whereabouts of Kimberly.
Anyone with information is asked to contact LAPD’s Missing Persons Unit Det. Carlton at (213) 996-1805 or after hours and on weekends (877) 527-3247. Anyone who wishes to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477. Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting 274637. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD” or visit LAPDOnline.org and click on “webtips” and follow the prompts. People can also email firstname.lastname@example.org. The family has set up a website http://findkim.com.