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What Happened To Kimberly Norwood? New Details On The Unsolved Disappearance Of The Texas Girl Who Went Missing 30 Years Ago

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What Happened To Kimberly Norwood? New Details On The Unsolved Disappearance Of The Texas Girl Who Went Missing 30 Years Ago

12-year-old Kimberly Norwood disappeared from her home in Texas without a trace. Thirty years later, her family is still desperate for answers. What happened to Kimberly Norwood?

The night before she disappeared, Kimberly Norwood was doing what most girls her age have done at least once in their lives: she went to a sleepover at her friend’s house. But May 20, 1989, would mark the last time that anyone would see Norwood alive — or dead.

What happened to Kimberly Norwood, though? How could a “good girl” from a small Texas town have disappeared without a trace — with authorities baffled as to where to even begin to look for her?

Here’s what we know about this unsolved missing person’s case.

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1. Age progression photos of Kimberly Norwood have been released.

On the off-chance that Kimberly Norwood is, indeed, still alive, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children released an age-progression photo of her, according to the local ABC affiliate KLTV.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children suggests that, on average, if missing children are not recovered within 72 hours of their initial disappearance, there’s a strong chance that they’re dead. However, there’s also a chance that they’ve been sold into human trafficking situations: per the organization, of the more than 23,500 runaways reported to NCMEC in 2018, one in seven were likely victims of child sex trafficking.

Kimberly Norwood would be 42 years old today.

2. Her family holds an annual gathering in the hopes that they will get information into her disappearance.

According to The Marshall News Messenger, Kimberly Norwood’s parents always host an annual get-together in their town of Hallsville, Texas, to share information on Kimberly’s disappearance in the hopes that someone, somewhere, will come forward with new information.

“We are asking for anyone that may have information on Kimberly’s whereabouts, to please come forward and help bring Kim home,” said Tammy Morton, a member of the Angels of Hope Relay for Life team that hosted the balloon release in support of Kimberly’s mother and member of the team, Janice Norwood, to the outlet. “As we release these balloons today, please say a prayer for Kimberly and her family. We are hoping these balloons would travel many miles and reach someone, somewhere that can give us some answers to bring Kim home.”

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3. Did she run away?

According to the National Runaway Safeline, an organization designed to assist teenagers and pre-teens with information and resources that provide an alternative to running away from home, children in Kimberly Norwood’s age group are most susceptible to becoming runaways than their older or younger counterparts. Up to 3 million teens and preteens run away from home each year, according to the organization, and almost half of all runaways indicated that they were the victim of sexual abuse at some point in their lives before they ran away from home.

This isn’t to suggest that this happened to Kimberly Norwood, but this is to suggest that there’s a chance that she may have run away at the first opportunity she had, and may still be alive today.

4. There is a reward for any information leading to her recovery.

According to CNN International, Kimberly Norwood’s friends and family — and even the local police department — never gave up looking for her. As such, anyone with any information is invited to call the Harrison County Sheriff's Office at 903-923-4000 or the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. Find her online at www.bernadettegiacomazzo.com and www.longlivetheuprising.com.