By Mary O’KEEFE
Closure is something Rosalie Blum is going to have to get used to. It is not a feeling that will happen in a day, but it will take time to stop hoping that one day her daughter Kimberly will call … one day she might even come back home.
“It is closure in a way. I was talking to a friend and said it is kind of like a rock has been lifted. You don’t have to wait and worry but your heart is still heavy,” Rosalie said.
On the evening of June 5, 2014, Kimberly Blum, 45, left a family residence in La Crescenta and was not heard from again. Friends, and there were many, and family repeatedly attempted to contact Kimberly but there was no response. On June 7 her mom reported her missing. From that point until today [Thursday], when Los Angeles County Sheriff investigators told Rosalie that a vehicle that was found over the side of Angeles Crest Highway belonged to her daughter, there was never a moment that Kimberly’s fate was not present in their minds.
After two years family and friends slowly began to resign themselves to the thought that Kimberly met a tragic end.
“It has been so long,” Rosalie said. “One part of your brain has made peace with it and then there was 5% that thought maybe she did run away … and that’s not there anymore.”
There was reason to think the worst when shortly after Kimberly’s disappearance a cosmetic bag with empty prescription bottles belonging to her was found by a Caltrans worker in the Crest. But the family still held out hope. A friend hired a helicopter to search the area and Kimberly’s photo and information was shared in the media including social media. There was a reward offered for any information but there still was no word.
Rosalie went on with her daily life, still dealing with small things like the DMV and Kimberly’s registration renewal. She had to reach out to police to write letters to explain that her daughter could not renew because she was missing. And all the while continuing to get Kimberly’s picture and story out to anyone who might have seen her that day.
“It was a big part of my life. You go through, ‘I am going to do everything I can possibly think of’ and then nothing happens and you get frustrated. And then you start all over again,” Rosalie said.
Today Kimberly’s sister posted the news of the discovery of her sister’s vehicle on Facebook and Rosalie said that so many friends, even from grade school, commented.
“Kimmy had a wonderful laugh, and a wonderful sense of humor. She had this special voice for her dog,” Rosalie remembered. “She had a lovely singing voice, she was very smart and brilliant at languages. She studied French at the Sorbonne for a year.”
Rosalie added Kimberly was a caring person and kind.
“She had a great joie de vivre that was infectious in a way,” she said. “She was a very special person.”
Although the human remains found near the vehicle have yet to be identified by the Coroner’s Office, it is fairly certain this is Kimberly.
And there are still questions that the family will be dealing with, some that can be answered and some that cannot. Rosalie drove up the Crest to where the car was found and spoke to the detectives. She realizes it may never be known if Kimberly drove off the road purposely or if it was an accident.
“There will always be that wondering,” she said. “She has been found. At least there is peace for us and peace for her.”
UPDATED Human Remains Found
Updated 8/25 at 5:30 p.m.
According to Lt. Jauch, LASD Homicide Unit, a vehicle was recovered today (Thursday) connected to the missing person investigation of Kimberly Blum. The vehicle is a silver CRV.
Kimberly was reported missing by her mother in June 2014 to LAPD-Foothill Division.
By Mary O’KEEFE
On Tuesday Caltrans workers noticed skid marks in the area on Angeles Crest Highway at mile marker 41.69.
“The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Montrose Search and Rescue team rappelled over the side [of the cliff] and found an SUV with brush grown around it. The VIN of the SUV relates to a missing person in the Los Angeles Police Dept. area,” according to Lt. Jauch, LASD Homicide Unit.
On Wednesday morning Montrose Search and Rescue team members went over the side of the highway again and found skeletal human remains, Jauch said.
The investigation is ongoing.