Note: There are updates at the bottom of this post. Some of the information originally posted now appears to be inaccurate, despite coming from sources I consider credible. I am leaving the original content also, so that comments and references to my post will still make sense.
Kimberly Sue Doss, age 16, went missing from Davenport, Iowa in September 1982.
Reports state that she was reported missing on September 1, 1982, but was last seen in the area on September 27, 1982. She was last seen at a Greyhound bus station. It was thought that she may have been headed to Houston, TX, where her father was.
A group called Thursday’s Child, which assists homeless and runaway youth, believed they saw Kimberly in Hollywood, California in 1984. The girl they saw was approximately 4″ taller than Kimberly was supposed to be, and had bleached blonde hair. She was using the street name “Kimberly Kathleen Gardner”, and working for a pimp named James Wiseman. Because of this sighting, some agencies list her as missing from California in 1984.
There was a newspaper article published in May 1989, which claimed she had been located in Sugar Land, Texas, following a Missing Persons balloon liftoff a year earlier. Sugar Land is not far from Houston, which is where her father lived.
Although my handwritten notes refer to said article, this notation was clearly scribbled down in my earlier days of researching the missing – when I thought that with a simple notation, I could easily find the article again. I was not aware of the fact that many articles’ existence on the internet are short-lived.
Needless to say, I can’t find the article again – although I did find evidence that I wasn’t the only one who saw it.
In the Internet Archive, I found an old version of Kimberly’s profile, which roughly states what I recalled from the article.
NOTE: THE ABOVE LINK IS NOT THE CURRENT DOENETWORK PAGE FOR KIMBERLY, IT IS A SCREENSHOT FROM SEVERAL YEARS AGO, AND IS ONLY BEING SHOWN HERE AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE NEWSPAPER ARTICLE THAT I CANNOT LOCATE.
This is the current DoeNetwork page for Kimberly Sue Doss, which shows her as an active missing person.
I have spoken to the Area Coordinator at DoeNetwork, and she confirmed that Kimberly is still missing. She did not know under what circumstances it had been reported that she’d been found.
Going back to when she was originally reported missing, on September 1, 1982, I find it interesting that she was seen 26 days later at the Greyhound Station, but they were unable to determine where she went. Since she had already been reported missing by this time, you’d think her bus activity would have been tracked.
She is possibly seen again in 1984, with a known pimp. This should indicate that Kimberly was in danger, if it was indeed her. They knew the name of the pimp, but it appears that this lead was never investigated, as there has never been any confirmation as to whether this was Kimberly or not. Law Enforcement believes she was Kimberly, while her mother did not.
So far she’s potentially been seen, yet slipped away twice since she was reported missing – so what happened in 1988-1989 that caused her to be reported as found in Sugar Land, Texas? Was it simply an insignificant clerical error, or was she found, but slipped away for a third time? Did her father, who lived in Houston, see her but not notify her mother, who was the one who reported her missing?
I would love to contact the newspaper and find out where this information had come from, if only I could remember or locate what newspaper it was.
I would also hope that investigators would talk to James Wiseman to see what he remembers about “Kimberly Kathleen Gardner”.
Interestingly, although Kimberly was born on February 12, 1966, Charley Project states that she may use an alternate birthdate of September 17, 1963. The article I had seen from 1989 indicated that she had been located a year earlier, so sometime in 1988. I then located a listing from the Burlington Hawk-Eye (Burlington Iowa 5/22/1988 publication) stating that a Kimberly S. Doss had recently been admitted to a hospital. A public records search of Kimberly S. Doss in Iowa only pulls up one public record, for a Kimberly S. Doss born in 1969 and living in Illinois at one time, but with ties to Davenport, Iowa – which is the very city where Kimberly went missing. Could be another alternate birthdate, since a three year difference has obviously been created by her before.
I found no other records of a Kimberly S. Doss with ties to Iowa at all.
I think there’s a fairly good chance that she’s alive and well, and I hope she will contact someone to let them know she’s ok. I have a feeling that someone out there knows where she is, but have not come forward to bring closure to this case.
Come home soon, Kimberly.
Update: After reading the account above on multiple sites, news articles from the early 1980’s state something entirely different. According to the early articles which quote members of her family, Kim vanished in March 1980, not in 1982.
The early articles describe the circumstances much differently as well. It appears that Kimberly left her boyfriend’s house following an argument, then met up with friends at one of their homes. After leaving het friend’s house, she called her boyfriend, telling him that she was at her friend Debbie’s house and needed to talk to him. This was the last time she was heard from, and none of her loved ones knew who Debbie was.
The article stated that Kimberly was under stress due to her parents’ divorce, and had previously run away from her mother’s home in Texas to her father’s house in Davenport, Iowa.
At first, when I came across these articles, I thought Kimberly had gone missing in 1980, but turned up, and then vanished again in 1982. However, I’ve also recently seen posts on Facebook where her sister has corrected people, explaining that she has been missing since 1980.
As of this update, I am unsure of where the confusion originated, and whether the sighting of het at a Greyhound station is even correct.
I will be looking into this more and will update if I am able to figure it out.
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