Does a notebook contain clues to the disappearance of a Los Angeles model?
Just outside Los Angeles, nearly seven hundred thousand acres of wilderness covers the sprawling Angeles National Forest. On February 29, 1992, a dedicated off-road enthusiast, who we’ll call Jeff, was exploring a campground area in the Angeles National Forest when his curiosity led him into a mystery. Jeff drove into a campsite and saw an attractive blonde woman sitting on the ground close to a fire:
Suddenly, Jeff was ambushed by three men who began pounding on his car, demanding to know what he wanted. Jeff immediately left, assuming that the men were just being protective of their camp:
A year later, on March 3, 1993, the Los Angeles County Coroner was called to investigate a possible murder site in the Angeles Forest. A partial set of skeletal remains were found only fifty yards from the spot where Jeff had seen the young blonde woman. When the coroner checked dental records of missing people in the Los Angeles area, he found a match. The remains were identified as those of 20-year-old Kimberly Pandelios, who had disappeared a year before. When she disappeared, Kimberly was living in Southern California. She was taking business classes and worked part-time as a model.
After the remains were identified, Kimberly’s story made headlines on the local news. By coincidence, Jeff, the off-road enthusiast was watching:
Jeff immediately contacted the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and accompanied two deputies to the spot where he had seen the woman. But far too much time had passed. There was not a single clue to the strange disappearance and death of Kimberly Pandelios. The coroner could not determine what caused Kimberly’s death. Police only knew that she was no longer a missing person. Her case was now re-classified as a probable homicide. Sergeant John Laurie of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department learned that the day before Jeff saw Kimberly in the makeshift camp, a burned-out car was found near a campground in the Angeles Forest:
Investigators found the charred remains of a spiral notebook in the car. It belonged to Kimberly Pandelios. After running a DMV check on the plates, the police were able to contact Kimberly’s husband, who had already reported his wife missing. A few weeks later, two hikers found a second notebook under a nearby bridge. It was Kimberly’s “dayrunner”. However, the dayrunner yielded no additional clues. Apparently, a third notebook is still unaccounted for. The day after Kimberly was reported missing, her son’s babysitter told Sergeant Laurie that a man named Paul had telephoned for Kimberly the day she disappeared:
Kimberly told her husband that she was scheduled to do an outdoor photo shoot. According to Sergeant Laurie, she had responded to an ad in a local newspaper:
Authorities believe Kimberly was abducted sometime on Thursday afternoon. When Jeff drove up, it was just past noon on Saturday:
In the case of Kimberly Pandelios, justice has finally been served. Twelve years after Kimberly’s disappearance, a convicted sex offender, David Rademaker, was arrested for her murder. Authorities tied Rademaker to Kimberly using phone records and were able to make the arrest, thanks to the testimony of a teenage girl he had been harassing. A judge sentenced Rademaker to life in prison without the possibility of parole.