Real Name: Hossanna Kimberly Pandelios
Nicknames: Kimberly, Kim
Location: Angeles National Forest, California
Date: February 28, 1992
Details: On February 29, 1992, in Angeles National Forest, an off-road motorist named "Jeff" came upon a campsite. He noticed a brown van, a tent, and a young blond woman who was sitting nearby. All of a sudden, three men approached Jeff's vehicle and began yelling at him. They told him to leave, and he did so. Jeff did not think anything was wrong at the time, so he did not call the police.
On March 3, 1993, the partial skeletal remains of a young woman were found just fifty yards from the campsite. Dental records identified the victim as twenty-year-old Kimberly Pandelios, who had vanished a year earlier. Kimberly and her parents had immigrated to the United States from Cuba. The family settled in Pennsylvania; Kimberly later married and had a son. In 1991, Kimberly, her husband, and her son moved to North Ridge, California. Kimberly started taking business courses and worked part-time as a model.
When news reports about Kimberly's death were shown on TV, Jeff recognized the young woman at the campsite; he was certain that she was Kimberly. Authorities went with Jeff to the campsite, but no evidence was found.
On February 28, 1992, the day before Jeff saw the woman believed to be Kimberly, her burnt-out car was found off a road near the Angeles Forest. The fire had been started on the passenger side; investigators believe that Kimberly had driven the car there. The charred remains of a spiral notebook were found in the car, but there were no other clues. Then, three weeks later, a second notebook, Kimberly's day-runner, was found under a bridge two miles from where her car was found. A third notebook belonging to Kimberly is still unaccounted for.
The day after Kimberly went missing, her son's babysitter told investigators that a man named Paul had called for Kimberly the day she disappeared. Paul had called at 2 pm that afternoon, saying that he wanted to confirm an appointment with Kimberly. Then, at 7 pm, Paul called again, but Kimberly was still not home. Paul told the babysitter that Kimberly had left her appointment book when she met with him.
Authorities believe that this notebook could be the key to identifying Kimberly's killer. She had told her husband that she was going to an outdoor photo shoot on the day she vanished. Authorities believe that she responded to an ad in the local paper about a photo shoot. One theory is that Kimberly was abducted by the men that Jeff had seen at the campground. The men then took Kimberly hostage, drugged her, and then murdered her. However, authorities are uncertain if the men are actually responsible, or if the woman was actually Kimberly.
Suspects: Authorities suspect that the three men at the campsite may have been responsible for Kimberly's murder. Jeff described the assailant standing in front of his car as twenty-five to thirty years old, 5'8"- 5'9", weighing 180-190 pounds. He had long, light-brown hair with several tattoos. The man standing next to the driver's side door had long, stringy brown hair and a tattoo on his left arm that looked like barbed wire.
The man named "Paul" is also wanted for questioning.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the January 20, 1995 episode. It was updated on the December 8, 1995 episode. Kimberly was also referenced in an episode of Forensic Files, but that episode was focusing on the case of Linda Sobek. The witness who believed he saw Kimberly after she vanished was given the fictitious name "Jeff".
Results: Solved. Charles Rathburn was considered a suspect in Kimberly's case after he was arrested for the murder of Linda Sobek. The two murders were eerily similar: both victims were young, attractive, aspiring models; both victims were lured to a secluded area for the promises of a photo shoot; and both were found within just a few miles of each other in the Angeles National Forest. Also, a witness came forward, claiming to have seen Rathburn with Kimberly at a Denny's restaurant. However, Rathburn was eventually cleared in the case.
In 2004, authorities arrested a convicted sex offender named David Rademaker in Kimberly's murder. Authorities now believe that Rademaker is "Paul," the man whom Kimberly was supposed to meet the day she vanished. Authorities had found phone records that showed that Rademaker had called Kimberly shortly before she vanished. At the time, he allegedly ran a prostitution service and a phone sex line.
Rademaker had mentioned Kimberly's murder to his girlfriend Manya Ksendzov multiple times. Interestingly, one time, the two were watching Unsolved Mysteries and he stated that the theory presented on the show (about multiple men abducting Kimberly) was wrong. On another occasion, Rademaker had told Manya that he would kill her "like the young model he had raped after she resisted his advances in the forest," Rademaker told Manya that one time when they had gone to the forest, he had checked the area where had killed Kimberly, and found that her remains were still there. Rademaker confessed to Manya that Kimberly had pleaded to him to let her go, saying that she wouldn't go to the police. Rademaker stated that he didn't believe her, so he drowned her in a nearby creek. He also claimed that he had met Kimberly through the personal ads. Manya stated that she was afraid of Rademaker and did not tell police about his confession and other statements until 2004.
Authorities questioned another girlfriend of Rademaker's, Cynthia Haddon. Cynthia stated that Rademaker had taken her to Kimberly's car on the night of February 28, 1992. She said he then set fire to the car. Cynthia had her phone calls recorded in an attempt to get Rademaker to confess. He admitted torching Kimberly's car, but he denied killing her. In the end, the jury didn't believe him; he was convicted of Kimberly's murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Authorities now believe that the witness "Jeff" was mistaken about his sighting and that the woman he saw was not Kimberly.
- Kimberly's case on Unsolved.com
- NORTHRIDGE: Missing Model's Interviewer Sought
- Remains Those of a Missing Area Woman
- Parolee Accused of 1992 Slaying
- Model's Killer Gets Life Sentence
- Kimberly Pandelios at Find a Grave