The narrative of the disappearance of Kimberly Sue Doss, called Kim by her family, is all over the place. I think that may be part of the problem as to why this case hasn’t been solved.
Let’s start with 1980. That’s the earliest missing date that I have seen listed for Kim, who would have been 14 at the time.
Several sources (including Charley Project and various other databases) list her missing date as September 1982. The standard narrative on these sites is that Kimberly was last seen at a bus station in Davenport, Iowa, after arriving from Houston to visit her father. There are also varying narratives about later sightings, but I will get to those in a minute.
I believe that most of this information is wrong.
According to an article from February 18, 1984 in Quad-City Times, the family’s story is much different. The article cites her aunt, Debbie Maylum, who says that Kimberly has been missing without a trace since March of 1980.
Ms. Maylum said that in March, Kim got in a fight with her boyfriend. She left his house upset, and met up with a few friends, and later left the friend’s home as well. Kim’s boyfriend at the time said that Kim called him from someone named Debbie’s house (also her aunt’s name), in Ridgeview, and said she wanted to meet with him. Her family never heard from her again.
In the article, Kim’s aunt is concerned that her missing persons case was near closing, as she was turning 18 and there had been no sign of foul play.
“I know police consider her a runaway,” Kim’s aunt is quoted in the article. “But I have a hard time believing that. She would have called somebody by now. I think she was abducted.”
While the article does mention Texas, where Kim’s mother had recently moved from Louisiana, it does not say that Kim went missing en route to visit her father, but that she had previously run away from her mother’s house in Texas to Davenport, her father’s residence.
Part of the time gap issue could also be *when* her disappearance was reported. According to the Iowa Department of Public Safety, she was reported missing on September 1, 1982. If her family waited until then, that could account for the dates, but I’m not sure why the story her Aunt told isn’t the one being reported on missing person databases.
Various sources also muddy the waters with a reported sighting of Kimberly Doss in 1984, supposedly working as a prostitute in Los Angeles on Hollywood Boulevard. She is listed on some databases as last seen in Los Angeles, although this siting was never confirmed by family from what I can tell. From the Charley Project:
Thursday’s Child, a charitable organization that assists homeless or at-risk teenagers, claims they made contact with Kimberly in 1984, two years after her disappearance. They stated Kimberly was working as a prostitute on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California, under a pimp named [redacted]. She had straight, bleached blonde hair and was using the name Kimberly Gardner.
The woman the Thursday’s Child workers saw was approximately four inches taller than Kimberly was reported to be, however. Kimberly’s mother did not believe the Hollywood woman was her daughter, so no investigative action was taken at that time.
This doesn’t line up with anything known about Kim. There’s no way to know 100%, but it does seem unlikely that she was trafficked to this area; not enough information is known about her associates in Davenport or Texas.
According to an old archived Doe Network posting, Kim Doss was ‘found’ in Sugarland, TX on April 5, 1989. However, I can’t find any other source for this and she is still on NAMUS and various other databases. It is an odd occurrence, and I’m not sure what it means.
Another Kimberly Doss
To make matters more confusing, there is another missing woman named Kimberly Doss. From what I can tell, her middle name was Rae though it doesn’t appear on some of the databases. She went missing in May 1979 from Jacksonville, Florida. Not many details are known about her disappearance, but her mother claims she was abducted but the Outlaws motorcycle gang. I’m not sure if the Hollywood sighting could be related to this Kimberly instead.
It is clear that Kim’s family wanted to find her. I found ads like these in the local newspaper, this one clearly from her mother, printed in October of 1982:
I really can’t find any information on how old Kim’s boyfriend was at the time or if has been investigated, or whether the friend “Debbie” in Ridgeview was ever found. Her boyfriend seems to be the last person to be in contact with her and the only witness to her discussing staying with “Debbie.”
Of course, it is possible that Kim headed back to Texas, or to some other location. Because this case is fairly old, not much in the way of digital footprint exists. I still think there is hope for someone to solve this case, perhaps one of her friends who saw her around that time.
Source: Quad-City Times