Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Details of Disappearance
She was last seen at approximately 5 p.m. on August 18, 1961 leaving an arts and crafts class which was held at a local elementary school. After helping her teacher at Halldale Avenue Elementary School in Harbor Gateway, Karen headed home. Karen left the school with her craft and was to return to her home a few blocks away but she never arrived home. A classmate on a bicycle rode alongside her for a minute or two when Karen left the school at 5:30 p.m. Karen disappeared somewhere along the four-block route home.
Despite a massive search she was never found.
Karen's mother, Laura Tompkins, whose then 38-year-old husband, William, was at sea with the Navy, lived with her mother and three children in the 21100 block of Halldale Avenue.
Mack Edwards, who hanged himself in a prison cell in 1971 after confessing to other child murders, is the prime suspect in Karen's disappearance.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Los Angeles Police Department
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Daily Breeze (Torrance, CA) - Sunday, August 17, 2003