Author Topic: Christine Ziomkiewicz | Missing (June 23, 1978) Kingston, Ontario  (Read 9907 times)

mauvelilac

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Christine Ziomkiewicz, 27, was last seen leaving her Park St apartment in Kingston on the evening of June 23, 1978. The Queens University research  lab technician left with only her purse leaving her car behind and few clues as to why she never came back. She wasn't reported as missing until June 27 after her parents had tried unsuccessfully all weekend to reach her.
Christines parents have both passed on but she leaves behind siblings who still would like an answer as to why their sister never returned home. Foul play is suspected.

http://police.kingston.on.ca/cold_case_rewards_program

or try www.kingstonpolice.ca and click on their reward program to the left

*****************************************************************************

My apologies if this is a double posting but i haven't been able to find it on here and this case has always
been a puzzler.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2008, 11:51:00 PM by Chris »

Chris

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Re: Christine Ziomkiewicz | Missing (June 23, 1978) Kingston, Ontario
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2008, 11:52:22 PM »
If foul play is suspected, it would be nice to know why. I know the police often have there reasons to hold back info, so all I hope is that someone out there who knows something will give those cops a call and get this case solved.

Concerned

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Concerned

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Re: Christine Ziomkiewicz | Missing (June 23, 1978) Kingston, Ontario
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2010, 08:17:40 AM »
They are calling this "disappearance and presumed murder." Noticed this posting on the case file, as well "A lengthy investigation left detectives convinced that Christine had fallen victim to homicide. Her remains have yet to be located."

Source:  http://www.callcrimestoppers.ca/cold-cases.html

pfc

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Re: Christine Ziomkiewicz | Missing (June 23, 1978) Kingston, Ontario
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2011, 05:20:20 PM »
Christine was a friend of mine back in the 70's. I was not living in Kingston at the time of her disappearance. I have been thinking of her lately - wondering if there were ever any clues as to what happened to her.

Chris

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Re: Christine Ziomkiewicz | Missing (June 23, 1978) Kingston, Ontario
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2011, 11:59:43 PM »
Sorry about your friend.

It would be ncie to know more details, but there does not seem to be much info out there. You'd think at some point someone would do an article or something about this.

pfc

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Re: Christine Ziomkiewicz | Missing (June 23, 1978) Kingston, Ontario
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2011, 04:35:44 PM »
Christine and I did volunteer work at the psychiatric hospital - I always wondered if that angle was checked. The possibility of a connection seems very remote though.

Chris

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Re: Christine Ziomkiewicz | Missing (June 23, 1978) Kingston, Ontario
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2011, 04:47:03 PM »
That is a very good point. There might have been an admirer or something who was rejected.

BTC

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Re: Christine Ziomkiewicz | Missing (June 23, 1978) Kingston, Ontario
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2011, 05:15:30 AM »
In August, 1978 I started working in the newsroom for the Kingston Whig-Standard just after completing my studies at Queen's University. One of my first duties before becoming a cub reporter myself was to file stories just published by other reporters and to help them with their research. I remember the Christine Ziomkiewicz case very well. The justice reporter at the time -- Sheldon McNeil -- and I spent our spare moments trying to do what we could, that is when he wasn't overworked with court reporting, run-aways, etc. One fact that still haunts me is that when the police finally got into her apartment, they found several bags of groceries on her kitchen table. Someone either met her on the way home from the supermarket/store or knocked on her front door before she had a chance to put away those groceries. I don't know if the Whig-Standard still has her clipping file but I do know there were more than a few stories written about her disappearance at the time (and during the following year until I left the Whig). And I do know that more than a few cops and reporters were working very hard on the case.

Chris

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Re: Christine Ziomkiewicz | Missing (June 23, 1978) Kingston, Ontario
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2011, 11:48:46 AM »
wow that is interesting. It's like someone was waiting for her or worse, followed her home!

I often wondered if this was a case teh police already know who did it, but are unable to prove it. It seems to me they probably do know who.

york3404

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Re: Christine Ziomkiewicz | Missing (June 23, 1978) Kingston, Ontario
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2013, 12:20:20 PM »
I found this article a few years back. From the Kingston Whig it was very helpful. I wish I speak to those investigators.

http://www.thewhig.com/2008/06/28/it-was-as-if-the-earth-had-opened-up-and-swallowed-her

I have copied and pasted here incase the link  no longer works.

'It was as if the Earth had opened up and swallowed her' 0 BY ROB TRIPP WHIG-STANDARD POLICE REPORTER
Saturday, June 28, 2008 6:10:00 EDT AM

The middle child of working class, immigrant parents, Christine Ziomkiewicz built a comfortable and promising life by the time she reached her mid 20s.
A bachelor of science degree from Brock University helped her land a respectable job as a research technician in the lab of Queen's University physiologist Seon Shin.
After a year working there, she saved enough for her own apartment, a tidy basement unit at the corner of Park and Regent streets, just a block from Princess Street.
After a year on Park Street, Christine had saved enough for new furniture, a new stereo and her prized possession, a shiny, red 1978 Honda Civic.

Despite her independence, she remained close to her mother and father. She was at their Gibson Avenue home for special occasions and holidays.
On Father's Day weekend, the dutiful, 27-year-old daughter baked a cake for her dad, Stefan.
A few days later, on Thursday night, she went to a Burton Cummings concert at Queen's with a girlfriend.
Life seemed good.
The next day, Friday, June 23, 1978, Christine stopped at the Dominion grocery store and then at the Kingston Centre after work. She made it back
to her flat-roofed, 16-unit apartment building at 200 Park St. by 5 p. m. A bag of groceries tucked under her arm, she chatted briefly with a
neighbour at her apartment doorway. When the conversation ended, she went inside.

No one has seen her since.
"It was as if the Earth had opened up and swallowed her," Joan Ziomkiewicz would later say.
The mystery outlived the heartsick mother.
The elder Ziomkiewicz died last April at age 91. Her husband, Stefan, died five years before her.
A devout Catholic, Joan Ziomkiewicz prayed often.
"She used to say that gave her the strength to get through this kind of thing," says Bernie Ziomkiewicz, 55, the youngest of the family's three children. "I think she certainly prayed a lot - she prayed for Christine."
Her prayers were never answered.
Christine's body has never been found.
She would be 53 today.

No one has been charged in connection with her disappearance. In the three decades since she vanished, there have been few clues and remarkably few theories about what became of her, except one tantalizing possibility -the suggestion that she left her apartment on that notable day in the company of a young man who has never been identified and who has never come forward to authorities.

Family members have given up any pretense of believing that the police could be wrong in their conclusion about what happened to the petite, pretty young woman with hazel eyes and thick, dark-brown hair.

"The conclusion the police came to back then, and it's exactly the conclusion I came to on my own reasoning, is probably it was a rape and murder by someone she knew and it could well be it was somebody she didn't know as well as she thought," says Bernie Ziomkiewicz, a technician in the physics department at Queen's.

When police searched Christine's apartment, they did not find anything suspicious.

There were no signs of a struggle, no sign she was planning to leave the city and no indications that she was troubled. The only thing missing was her envelope-style, brown leather purse.

By all outward appearances, Christine Ziomkiewicz was a model of organization.
Her life became a tableau. A bag lay on her bed with a new sweater bought that day tucked carefully inside.
fresh strawberries chilled in the fridge.
A few dirty dishes were neatly stacked by the kitchen sink, waiting to be washed.
The weekend ahead was mapped. On the desk calendar page for Saturday, June 24, there was a note reminding her to wash her new car.
In her absence, it became Bernie's car. He drove it for more than 10 years.

*
Det. Matt Funnell, one of two police officers carrying the burden of 11 lost lives, spoons his words like measured servings of a potent spice.
"I have to be guarded because everybody wants their case worked on at the same time," says the investigator who heads the Kingston Police cold case squad.
"Everybody" is a collective of dozens - mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles - who are pining for loved ones who were beaten, stabbed and, in some cases, abducted and killed. In three of the Kingston cases, bodies have not been found.
Funnell won't say if investigators are actively working on the Ziomkiewicz case.
The cold squad, formed early in 2005, is reviewing 11 murders, Kingston's only known unsolved homicides.
Funnell notes that with just two investigators, the unit has a mammoth task in reviewing all of the exhibits, statements and documents that have been generated by cases spanning 32 years - the oldest is from 1970, the newest from 2002.
"The reality of it is we try to spend a great deal of time trying to focus on one and follow up leads on others as they come in," Funnell says.
He will not say which case is being focused on now.

But he says repeatedly that leads have not been exhausted in any of the 11 cases. He also said the investigators are doggedly combing old files, mindful of an axiom among investigators: The name is in the box.

It is a reminder that killers are of- ten exposed as someone police once interviewed, someone whose name already appears in a box that holds case files.
Funnell says the Ziomkiewicz case has been perplexing since the start.
There were few solid leads even in the critical few days and weeks after her disappearance.
"It has the most mystery to it," he says.
Six weeks after Christine vanished, police had received just two tips. Neither was helpful.
Three decades later, Funnell offers
an enticing morsel.
"I do believe that there is a person
still alive who knows what happened to
Christine Ziomkiewicz, or at least whois responsible for that act, so our job isto tap into that person and to sufficiently motivate them to come forward,"
Funnell says.
"I don't know that the original investigatorswould have had the benefit of
that information to the extent maybethat time has given it to us, but I do believe that the answer is still with a living person, and we're optimistic that one day we might be able to bring that person on board."Funnell said the person isn't living in the city.
He declined to offer any more information about the mysterious individual who is not, he clarifies, a suspect in the case.
"By no means [have we] got that kind of a solid lead that makes that leap," he says. "The individual is actually a person who may hold information that might lead us to a person of interest."
Funnell says investigators pinpointed this person through a review of old case files.
"There's a description of circumstances attributed to this person that reads like it might have something to do with her," he says.

*June 23 was a regular workday for Christine Ziomkiewicz. She was at the lab in Abramsky Hall early that morning, as always.
"She was a good worker," says Seon Shin, the Queen's physiology professor who had hired her as a research technician. Christine was the senior of two technicians working on experiments with hormone secretions.Retired and now living in London, Ont., Shin was startled to realize three decades had elapsed.
"Wow, that's long ago," Shin says. "Not only is it sad, but [it] is a real mystery."
He has often wondered what happened to the conscientious young woman he thought of as a quiet, "ordinary person."
She was rarely, if ever, absent, always friendly and performed her work ably. Because of it, Shin says he paid no attention to her phone calls with friends or family.
He did not notice daily calls with a boyfriend in the weeks leading up to June 23.
After work that day, it appears Christine went directly to the Kingston Centre where she shopped, primarily for groceries, then drove to her Park Street apartment.
On her desk calendar for the day, she had written a task list: "return Bernie's mixer, groceries?, shopping, laundry."
Bernie Ziomkiewicz says he didn't see his sister that day. She did not return the egg beater that she had borrowed about a week earlier.
By the end of the weekend, Christine's mother was curious why she could not reach her daughter.
Joan Ziomkiewicz called Bernie, who was working at the time as a technician in the chemistry department at Queen's. She asked him to check on Christine at work the following day.
Christine had never taken off for several days without telling someone where she was going.
"I've never known her to do that," says her brother.
He phoned Prof. Shin's lab several times on Monday, but was told Christine was not at work. She had not called in to say she wouldn't be at work.The family's concern grew.
"Panic might be too strong a word, but kind of, definitely a concern that sort of slowly gets more and more intense or serious," Bernie Ziomkiewicz says.
He called the lab again Tuesday but got the same response.Christine's parents called police that day, June 27, to report her missing.
It is unclear how quickly or effectively Kingston Police responded to a report that a responsible citizen had not been seen for four days.
Her car was parked, as usual, at the Park Street apartment building.

Police did not release any information publicly until the end of that week. A small, insignificant news story appeared near the bottom of Page 2 of TheKingston Whig-Standardon June 30, noting that police were looking for a woman who had, by then, been missing a week.

Police did not release, or perhaps had not collected, any information about what Christine was wearing the day she vanished.

"My parents weren't entirely happy with police activity," says Bernie Ziomkiewicz.
He was not immediately interviewed by investigators.
"Actually, it was a long time before they did, and that kind of surprised me," he says.
Funnell says it's hard for him to comment about the quality of early work on the Ziomkiewicz case.
"Because of the way it happened, it certainly was a difficult case to get started," he says.Time has improved investigative techniques, he notes.
"Looking over the [11 cold cases],we have found things that we would do differently today," he says.

*The love life of a missing or murdered person is something on which investigators key. Murders in Canada are often crimes of passion and killers are typically known to their victims.Christine Ziomkiewicz was pretty, outgoing and socially active. At five-foot- three and 110 pounds, she was delicate and cautious, according to most.
she dated, but there was never any suggestion that she was promiscuous or took risks.
"I wouldn't say she was a risk taker," her brother says. "I would say, though, I think she could be a bit socially naive.
"She could be very quick to befriend people and maybe not be quite as discriminating as one might be."

For 29 years now, an enticing, unexplained lead has lingered. A year after the disappearance, Christine's parents revealed publicly that a private investigator they had hired concluded that she had met a new boyfriend in the six to eight weeks before she vanished.
Christine called the man several times daily, most regularly at 10 a. m. each day. Those calls extended through most of May and June.No one knew the man's identity.

The investigator concluded that Christine left her apartment on June 23 with the man.
It's uncertain if police ever located the man or confirmed his existence. A poster produced by Kingston Police and sent across the country to police departments states that Christine was not in a relationship at the time.Only one of the two Kingston Police officers who worked on the case in 1978 is still alive.
Ed Brash, retired nearly two decades from a 34-year career with Kingston Police, said his memory is hazy and he doesn't really want to talk about this old, unsolved case.
"I'm not sure I want to go back there," he says. "It went on and on, and it's still going on."
He doesn't believe that investigators ever had evidence that Christine left her apartment with a young man on June 23.
"I don't believe so," he says. It's not the kind of detail that Funnell will discuss.
"There was all kinds of rumours around," Brash says.
Paul Teevens says he's not the mystery man who supposedly left 200 Park St. with Christine, although he dated her shortly before she disappeared.
"I took Christine out a few times," says Teevens, who recently retired from a 35-year career at The Beer Store. The couple went to the movies and one time he was at her apartment for a New Year's Eve party."She was very likable," says Teevens, 59.

He first became a friend of the Ziomkiewicz family when he attended elementary school with Christine's older brother, Chris.The two became pals.Teevens say his relationship with Christine wasn't serious.

Police interviewed him twice, he says, once by telephone and once at the police station. He was never asked to sign a formal statement and he never sensed that the questioning was accusatory.

The day she disappeared, he was working at the beer store on Cataraqui Street.Teevens says Christine ended their dating."I think she told me she was seeing somebody else but I'm not really sure," he says.Teevens says he never heard the new boyfriend's name.There was one significant man in Christine's life, a suitor she met at Brock University in St. Catharines.The pair were engaged, says Bernie Ziomkiewicz, who met his sister's fiance."I think he was a good fella," he recalled.
His parents also approved of the match.
It dissolved a few years before her disappearance. Christine's fiancee was in New Zealand for graduate studies when he contacted her to say it would be best if they ended the engagement.

*Exhortations to shadowy figures aren't the only hope for the Ziomkiewicz case and 10 others, says Funnell."No one case fits into the category that the forensics are dry," he says.There is hope that new technology, applied to old evidence, may provide breakthroughs.
Most notably, in some cases, exhibits were never tested for DNA. Science has evolved to allow the extraction of matching samples from tiny portions left behind by killers.
"We are waiting with bated breath on a lot of cases that, you know, maybe our answer has been in our property lockup for years," he says.
After the cold case squad was formed, investigators conducted what they called a forensic audit of the unsolved cases, with an emphasis on the exhibits still packed away on shelves in a property room.Many exhibits, from nearly all the cases, were sent to the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto, where they are being re-examined.
"It would be irresponsible to list which ones, because the bad guys know what they did at what crime, so I would be careful about that," he says.
In some cases, exhibits are being tested for the first time. Reports are beginning to trickle slowly back to the investigators.
Because Kingston Police had so many exhibits to send to the overtaxed centre, they prioritized, sending first the exhibits that were most likely to produce clues.
It is possible that DNA particularly might finger a killer if that person has committed a serious crime in the past few years that led to a court-ordered DNA sample.
Those samples have been collected in a national databank of offenders. Old samples can now be tested against that growing databank.
"If we don't catch up to you through the traditional investigative efforts that we put forward, then it's only a matter of time [before] the computer will get you," Funnell says.
With no body and no apparent crime scene in the Ziomkiewicz case, DNA advances may not help, but Funnell insists there's hope that it can be solved. The big break may be just one tip away. Someone may be holding information that they believe is inconsequential but fits nicely in the bigger picture to which only police are privy.
"We ask people not to evaluate their information, that no piece is too small," he says.
Police are still offering a $25,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of Christine's killer or the recovery of her body.
The reward is available in six other unsolved murder cases.