Police still searching for answers in decade-old disappearance - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police still searching for answers in decade-old disappearance

Posted: Updated:

(WMC-TV) - It's a case that haunts a Mid-South investigator: What happened to a local teenager, who partied with friends and then simply disappeared?  For years, police considered Kirsten Kryszak a missing person, but now they're investigating her case as a homicide, and need help to find the killer.

Newspaper articles detailing Kryszak's disappearance hang on the wall in Memphis Police Sergeant Bill Ashton's office.

"We're up against a wall," Ashton said in a recent interview. "Because we don't have a body, we don't have a van.  It's almost like it never even happened."

For investigators, it's far from clear, what happened to the 18-year-old on New Year's day in 2001.

"She rang in the New Year at two separate house parties on Avalon near Poplar in Midtown," Ashton said. "It's the details surrounding New Years day that get fuzzy."

Kryszak stayed overnight at one party, and asked for a ride to her boyfriend's home the next morning. A friend drove her there in a borrowed minivan, but when Kirsten realized her boyfriend wasn't home, witnesses say she left her friend on the porch talking to a neighbor, got in the driver's seat, and drove away!

"And when she drove off that was the last time anyone saw her or the van again," Ashton said.

Kryszak didn't take any of her belongings, and her roommate said she didn't have any money.

In February of 2001, Earl Burgess told Action News 5 the last time he saw Kryszak was when she left with friends for the party in Midtown.

"There's no way in the world she'd just take off like that without calling anybody," he said.

Kryszak's mother hired a private investigator and put up a $12,000 dollar reward to find her daughter, and another $5,000 was added a few years ago.  But more than a decade later, there's still no sign of her.

"I want to remind myself every day that I need to try and close this case and find this young lady," Ashton said.

Investigators say Kryszak was a troubled teen who'd been in rehab and was known to run away. They say they've interviewed everyone associated with her, and the case has gone cold.

If you know ANYTHING about the disappearance of Kirsten Kryszak...call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow