The Unsolved Mystery of Kellie Poppleton Murder – How Did She Die? Who Killed Her? – Kellie Jean Poppleton, 14, was discovered dead near Kilkare Road in Sunol 34 years ago. On the anniversary of her death, more than three decades later, investigators with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office are revisiting the cold case in search of leads in the teen’s gruesome death.
‘On the Case With Paula Zahn: A Spiderweb Of Tragedy,‘ a documentary on Investigation Discovery, chronicles the terrible murder and demonstrates how the police were able to identify the teen as 14-year-old Kellie Jean Poppleton.
Kellie Poppleton’s Cause of Death
Kellie Poppleton, a vibrant and down-to-earth 14-year-old girl, was adored by her family and friends alike. Friends described the adolescent as a compassionate and generous person who enjoyed making others happy and was always willing to lend a helping hand. Kellie was also an excellent student, according to her professors, with a bright future ahead of her. Her friendly nature made her highly popular in her neighbourhood, and the adolescent is still sorely mourned.
On December 2, 1983, police received a distress call from a motorist who claimed to have seen an apparently unconscious body on the side of the road. When first responders arrived on the scene, they discovered the body of a female in her twenties. The victim was covered in bruises and appeared to have been thrashed viciously by the perpetrator.
Her head was also wrapped in two plastic shopping bags, and her noose, made of a tie, was wrapped around her neck. During the initial inquiry, officers discovered that the victim was still bleeding and attempted to resuscitate her. However, the girl’s injuries were too severe, and she died soon after. An autopsy later revealed that she died of asphyxiation.
Over the years, Poppleton’s death has remained a mystery. Sheriff’s authorities frequently post on social media about cold-case homicide anniversaries, with the statement “Our victims are never forgotten.” As part of their post, they included a snapshot of Poppleton.
Contribute to the long-term viability of the local news you rely on. Your contribution is significant. Become a member right now. The police also noted that the unsolved double murder of Michael Marie Shane and Kathy Sue Pethel, whose bodies were located on the west side of Fallon Road north of Interstate 580 in Dublin, was 47 years ago on Dec. 3.
According to the sheriff’s office, both ladies planned to hitchhike to the Los Angeles region on December 3, 1983, for a custody court. They were last seen alive in San Francisco between 12:30 and 2 a.m. that morning, heading down Oak Street toward Ashbury Street, a major hitchhiking hotspot.
Who Killed Kellie Poppleton and Why?
During the early stages of the inquiry, law enforcement personnel had a lot of problems because there were no plausible leads to follow. For starters, the body was recovered many days after the victim went missing, and it took the authorities several days to identify Kellie Poppleton. Because the inquiry took so long to begin, it was far more difficult to track down critical clues, particularly forensic evidence, that could have led the authorities to the killer.
Authorities persisted, even sitting through hundreds of interviews in the hopes of finding a witness or a clue. Surprisingly, the massive level of violence directed at Kellie appeared to be motivated by a personal vendetta. However, the victim was only 14 years old and sought to maintain a positive connection with the majority of people, raising the question of why someone would murder a teen in this manner.
During the course of the inquiry, detectives discovered that Kellie was allegedly in charge of reporting to authorities about a suspected narcotics network. Naturally, those involved in the drug trade did not take kindly to the intrusion and were prepared to avenge themselves. Trina Bence, a 13-year-old girl, was able to furnish authorities with graphic information about Kellie’s murder as a result of the investigation.
She later charged another 13-year-old girl, a 17-year-old male, and Julian G. Ramirez, a 27-year-old guy, with the crime. Trina claims she was present when these people apprehended Kellie and murdered her in the most heinous manner possible. Trina was arrested and detained at a juvenile detention centre while the police investigated. The accusations against all four accused were dismissed after detectives were unable to corroborate the 13-year-old story.
Authorities were eventually able to piece together a comprehensive DNA profile of a mystery person who had been engaged in the crime. However, the profile did not match any of the ones currently in the police database, making that line of inquiry a dead end. Kellie’s case has remained unresolved since then, despite the fact that the police say the inquiry is still underway. Kellie’s family, on the other hand, has kept the vivacious adolescent alive in their memories as they wait for the closure they so well deserve.
Stream ‘On the Case With Paula Zahn: A Spiderweb Of Tragedy’ episode on Investigation Discovery.