They now know her name, but what happened to Kimberly Ann Funk?
A key piece of information in a 30-year-old cold case has been confirmed. Now, Sheriff Mike Ezell wants to find out what happened to Kimberly Ann Funk and why she was found in the swampy area of Ward Bayou in 1991.
Ezell released a timeline of events that led to investigators learning the identity of the woman whose remains were found in Vancleave in 1991. DNA through a family member confirmed it was Kimberly Ann Funk of Sharon, Pennsylvania.
What investigators do know is that Funk, who also went by the first name Star, left Houston, Texas, and headed to the Mississippi Gulf Coast some time between April and June 1990. Her brother confirmed she went missing in 1990.
Now, they are trying to piece together a timeline from April 1990 to February 1991, when her body was found.
It took more than 30 years to identify Funk. After she was found, a clay model was made of her skull to generate a possible identity, but the case went cold when no leads were generated.
In 2012, a cold case team of Pascagoula Police Investigator Darren Versiga, then-Jackson County Coroner Vickie Broadus and sheriff’s investigators sent the clay model to the University of North Texas. State-of-the-art DNA extraction was used and the victim’s information uploaded to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System and her remains were sent to the Mississippi Crime Lab. Still, no results.
Then in 2019, an anonymous donor’s gift made it possible for the state Crime Lab to fund additional DNA research to build a family tree through Othram, Inc., in Texas.
In March 2021, Othram identified a possible family member, a brother and within two weeks, Funk was identified.
Now investigators are trying to put together the rest of the puzzle and find out what happened between when she left Texas and when she was found in Vancleave.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office at 22-769-3063 or Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers at mscoastcrimestoppers.com
All information will remain confidential.