Kimberly Marie Ratliff, 22, died sometime between Jan. 9 and Jan. 12, 1999, in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
She was born Sept. 26, 1976 to Jacque and Joyce Ratliff. She worked hard to keep up her grades and was the first in her family to graduate high school.
She lived in Council Bluffs with her mother and stepfather, Joyce and Leslie "Les" Kennedy, and was employed by Airlite Plastics Co. in Omaha.
She was last seen sometime between 11:30 p.m. Jan. 8 and 12:15 a.m. on Jan. 9 after getting off work at 11:30 p.m. On Tuesday, Jan. 22, 1999, her badly mutilated and cold body was found dead in her vehicle parked in the People's Natural Gas parking lot at 1414 W. Broadway in Council Bluffs.
Her mother and stepfather gave conflicting statements as to whether Kim had ever returned home the night of Jan. 8. A neighbor told police he saw Kim fleeing the Kennedy residence late that night, distressed and barefoot.
Neither her mother or stepfather reported Kim as missing, and four days later on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 1999, Kim was found dead inside her vehicle in the People's Natural Gas parking lot in Council Bluffs. Due to the violent nature of the attack, police knew she'd been killed elsewhere and her body moved to her car sometime after her death.
Police called Kim's slaying one of the most vicious they had ever seen.
In addition to her mother and stepfather, Kim was survived by her father, two brothers, nieces and nephews, step-siblings and many friends.
On Friday, Oct. 16, 2020 -- nearly 22 years after her murder -- Council Bluffs police detectives requested and were granted an arrest warrant for Matt W. Kennedy, accusing him of first-degree murder. Detectives allege that Kennedy was involved in the brutal murder of his stepsister, Kimberly M. Ratliff, the Council Bluffs Police Department said in a press release.
Matt Kennedy, 52, is a resident of Fairfield, Montana; he was living in Council Bluffs at the time of the murder.
Kennedy was taken into custody and held in the Teton County Jail, pending extradition to Iowa. The case remains an active investigation, police said.
Police also said no further information will be released regarding Kennedy’s arrest until he is back in Iowa.
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