Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Kimberly Pandelios

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 his vehicle and began yelling at him. They told him to leave, and he did so. He 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 her as twenty-year-old Kimberly Pandelios, who had disappeared a year earlier. She and her parents had immigrated to the United States from Cuba. They settled in Pennsylvania; she later married and had a son. In 1991, she and her family moved to North Ridge, California. She started taking business courses and worked part-time as a model.
When news reports about Kimberly's death were shown on TV, Jeff recognized her as being the young woman at the campsite; he was certain that was her. Authorities went there with him, but no evidence was found.
On February 28, 1992, the day before Jeff saw the woman believed to be Kimberly, her burned-out car was found off a road near the Angeles Forest. The fire had been started on the passenger side; investigators believe that she had driven it there. The charred remains of a spiral notebook were found in it, but there were no other clues. Then, three weeks later, a second notebook, her day-runner, was found under a bridge two miles from where her car was found. A third notebook belonging to her is still unaccounted for. 
The day after Kimberly disappeared, her son's babysitter told investigators that a man named "Paul" had called for her the day she disappeared. He had done so at 2pm that afternoon, saying that he wanted to confirm an appointment with her. Then, at 7pm, he did so again, but she still wasn't home. He said that she 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 disappeared. Authorities believe that she responded to an ad in the local paper about a photo shoot. One theory is that she was abducted by the men that Jeff had seen at the campsite. They then took her hostage, drugged her, and murdered her. However, authorities are uncertain if they are actually responsible, or if the woman was actually her.

A composite of one of the suspects

Suspects: Authorities suspect that the 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 one 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 one.
  • It was also referenced on Forensic Files, but that was focusing on that of Linda Sobek.
  • The witness who believed he saw Kimberly after she disappeared was given the fictitious name "Jeff".

Results: Solved. Photographer Charles Rathburn was considered a suspect in this case after he was arrested for Linda Sobek's murder. Both murders were eerily similar: both victims were young, attractive, aspiring models; they were lured to a secluded area for the promises of a photo shoot; and they were found within just five 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. However, he was eventually cleared in this case.

David Rademaker

In 2004, authorities arrested a convicted sex offender named David Rademaker in Kimberly's murder. Authorities now believe that he is "Paul", the man whom she was supposed to meet the day she disappeared. Authorities had found phone records that showed that he had called her shortly before she did so. 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, they were watching the broadcast and he stated that the theory presented on it (about multiple men abducting Kimberly) was wrong. On another occasion, he had told Manya that he would kill her "like the young model he had raped after she resisted his advances in the forest" and that one time when they had gone there, he had checked the area where he had killed Kimberly, and found that her remains were still there. He confessed to Manya that Kimberly had pleaded to him to let her go, saying that she wouldn't go to the police. He stated that he didn't believe her, so he drowned her in a nearby creek. He also claimed that he had met her through the personal ads. Manya stated that she was afraid of him and did not tell police about his confession and other statements until 2004.
Authorities questioned Cynthia Haddonan, other girlfriend of Rademaker's. She stated that he had taken her to Kimberly's car on the night of February 28, 1992. She said he then set fire to it. She had her phone calls recorded in an attempt to get him to confess. He admitted burning Kimberly's car, but he denied killing her. In the end, the jury didn't believe him; he was convicted of her murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Authorities now believe that "Jeff" was mistaken about his sighting and that the woman he saw was not Kimberly.