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Family marks 25 years since Sullens disappearance - KOAM TV 7

Family marks 25 years since Sullens disappearance

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CHEROKEE COUNTY, KANSAS -

On the night of August 31, 1991, 18-year-old Cherokee county resident Karol Sullens ended her shift at "Valley of the Dolls", an exotic nightclub located in Galena. Co-workers last report seeing her standing beside a man's truck in the club parking lot. Sullens and two men traveled to a wooded area outside city limits on Chico road where they had a night of drinking and drugs. Sullens was never seen again.

"She just disappeared without a trace or nothing," Sullens' mother, Sandra Casada said.

Wednesday marks 25 years since her disappearance and in the past quarter-century, Sullens' body has not been recovered and no one has been formally charged with her murder, leaving lots of questions for her family.

"You know why couldn't they have left her somewhere she could have been found?" Casada said.

The two men have been questioned and jailed for other crimes, including knowing information regarding her disappearance. One claims he saw Don Kidwell disappear into the woods with Sullens and return without her. In 2003, Kidwell was sentenced to 18 months in prison for obstruction of official duty.

"There's people out there that know what happened to her, and they don't need to be afraid of them anymore because one of the guys is dead and the other is in prison," Casada said.

Casada describes the last 25 years as "mostly a nightmare". Due to Sullens' body never being recovered, her family has no formal grave site for her. They've made a makeshift one on the back of a wooden sign near the area Sullens was last seen alive.

"Give us some rest on this, give us some peace. You know, everybody deserves to have a resting place," Casada said.

Search efforts took place across the county to find Sullens but to no avail. Sheriff David Groves said Sullens' DNA and dental records were entered into several national databases.

"Anytime anyone is located who matches that 18-yr-old female, Caucasian female criteria, they're able to go from that system and compare what they've located to what we're looking for and see if it's a match. There's been a couple instances where initially we thought there might be a match and then upon further examination and testing we've realized that it's not," Groves said.

The family makes an effort to remember Sullens each year, sometimes baking a cake in her remembrance. She was Casada's only child but had a deep love for her step-siblings.

"I mean I know she's gone and she's not coming back. I know that because if there was any chance for Karol to be still alive, she would have already got ahold of me long ago," Casada said.

Anyone with information regarding the disappearance of Karol Sullens is urged to contact Cherokee County Sheriff's department at 620-429-3992.

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