15 years later, Ramer 1 of top cold cases

Published 12:13 am Tuesday, April 16, 2013


When one thinks of unsolved crimes in Covington County, the image of a dark-haired, smiling girl in a black-and-white, striped sweater immediately comes to mind.

Kemberly Ramer – a 17-year-old softball player and honor student – was last seen around 10 p.m. on Aug. 15, 1997, leaving her boyfriend’s home.

The Star-News is bringing the spotlight back to Ramer’s disappearance, and other unsolved crimes, after the Covington County District Attorney’s Office revealed a 15-member cold case task force had been formed was in an active investigation. And while no official word have been given on what case the group was investigating, Ramer’s disappearance is one that has plagued law enforcement since the girl went missing 15 years ago.

Opp Police Chief Mike McDonald said Monday he is “somewhat disappointed the case hasn’t been brought to a successful conclusion,” and he believes Ramer is likely dead.

“And that hurts to say, but it’s just that I’m not optimistic,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean (the case) won’t be brought to a successful conclusion in the future.”

McDonald said during the timeframe when the case was actively being worked, there were 30 FBI agents involved. Since then, the leads have slowed, but that doesn’t mean the case is forgotten.

From all accounts, Ramer made it home that August night and was taken from inside the residence. Over the years, Ramer’s disappearance has been featured on multiple TV shows including the Montel Williams show.

In 2011, The Star-News reported the story was featured on CNN’s Nancy Grace. Ramer’s mother, Sue, told CNN she believes someone entered the girl’s home and took her.

“Kemberly was at home, and she was by herself at the time, and someone came into the house and took her,” said Sue Ramer. “Everything was left there – her contacts, her clothes, her shoes, car keys, everything. There was a struggle in her bedroom. There was a picture that had fallen to the floor, you know, in her bedroom.

“There were things scattered around that I could tell that there had been a scuffle or something in her bedroom,” she said. “She was home alone. It’s just something that we have to cope with every single day or try to cope with. It is very, very hard for all of us.”

The case remains unsolved despite, numerous tips, leads and searches over the years, including searching a lake, Baptism Hole and a sinkhole near Ponce de Leon, Fla., all of which yielded nothing.

Anyone with any information about Ramer’s disappearance is asked to contact one’s nearest law enforcement agency or the Opp Police Department at 334-493-4511.