What happened to Kemberly Ramer?


OPP, Ala. – August 2023 will mark 26 years since 17-year-old Kemberly Ramer vanished, and investigators are no closer to finding answers.

Ramer was born to Kenneth and Sue Ramer on May 18, 1980. Her parents later divorced. Ramer’s mother, Sue Infinger, has described her daughter as “very happy and a great daughter.”

Ramer was preparing to start her senior year at Opp High School. A straight-A student, she planned to attend the University of South Alabama in the fall of 1998, majoring in physical therapy.

On Aug. 14, 1997, she had her senior pictures taken. They would be the last photos of Ramer.

The following day, Aug. 15, 1997, Ramer attended a softball game with her boyfriend and hung out with friends. Afterward, she and her boyfriend went back to his house. Ramer left in her car between 11 p.m. and 11:45 p.m. to drive back to her father’s house. She pulled into the driveway around midnight, although some agencies say 10 p.m.

Ramer vanished afterward, leaving all her belongings behind, including her shoes, contact lenses, and vehicle. Her parents reported her missing on Aug. 17, 1997. Police believe she made it inside the home and to her bedroom, disappearing between midnight and 5 a.m. on Aug. 16, 1997. The sheets on her bed were ruffled, but there were no signs of forced entry. Nevertheless, police suspect foul play.

Investigators believed Ramer, or whoever was with her, had crossed the Alabama state line. Therefore, the search became a multi-agency effort involving the FBI. However, investigators do not know where the crime occurred exactly.

An extensive search began using four-wheelers, dogs, and infrared planes, but searchers found no clues to Ramer’s whereabouts.

Kemberly Ramer: newspaper photo of her parents at a news conference in December 1997
Photo credit: Birmingham Post Herald, Dec. 23, 1997

On Kemberly’s 18th birthday, police began a three-day search of the 35-feet-deep Steep Hole Pond in the Florida Panhandle following two tips received at Holmes County, Fla. sheriff’s office that her body had been dumped there. An FBI dive team that searched for victims of the TWA Flight 800 crash in New York in July 1996 participated. They found no clues relating to Ramer’s case. A logging company owned the pond. The private gates blocking the pond’s road were unlocked on the night of Ramer’s disappearance.

Four years after her disappearance in 2001, a non-profit Texas organization searched Baptism Hole with cadaver dogs. According to The Montgomery Advertiser, while they got several hits and dug up an engine blog with an attached rope, they had to leave the site before excavating it completely. FBI brought in its dogs the following day, but the dogs gave no indication human remains were present. Investigators did not conduct any further excavations.

In July 2006, a dive team searched a 300 feet wide and 55 feet deep sinkhole near Ponce de Leon following an anonymous tip. However, the search turned up nothing.

Ten years later, acting on a tip, investigators from various agencies searched a well near Coffee County, Alabama, using a large bulldozer and cadaver dogs in an eight-hour search. However, they found no sign of Ramer’s remains.

In July 2021, a Covington County grand jury convened, and many witnesses testified, but Covington County District Attorney Walt Merrell gave no further information in a statement to News 4.

Ramer’s mother has an idea of who kidnapped her daughter. She will only say they were a “former family friend.”

Police also suspect the same person. The investigation remains active.

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Ramer’s father, Kenneth Ramer, died at 62 on Jan. 4, 2010. Infinger continues searching for her missing daughter.

A memorial tree with a plaque in Ramer’s honor was planted at Opp High School, but recently, officials had to remove the tree due to construction at the school. However, there are plans to construct a memorial bench using the tree’s wood, with the plaque placed on the bench.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Ramer, please get in touch with the Alabama Bureau of Investigation Center for Missing and Exploited Children.


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