We are living an unbelievable nightmare with the loss of our daughter, Karen Clarice Kappelman. Her sister and her were close, and she is devastated. Karen's life and her death have forever changed our lives. Those individuals that contributed to her demise will have to live with that for the rest of their lives. Karen and her friend made some poor choices that night that resulted in devastating consequences. A teenage girl was taken advantage of and no one came to her aid. Her death, like many others, was senseless and could have easily been prevented.
The support from the community has been overwhelming during this time of grief. Our friends and co-workers continue to be there for us as we move forward. We want to specifically thank the Boone County Sheriff Department, Union Baptist Church, Ryle High School, The Legends Apartment Community and Nexxus Properties.
Karen grew up in a Baptist church in Montgomery. Looking back through photos, the family can reflect on the many experiences and places they shared with Karen: From DisneyWorld to NYC, from white water rafting on the Ocoee River to riding a tractor on a farm in Arkansas, from watching fireworks in Vancouver to visiting the Amish country in Pennsylvania. The family would like the public to know Karen was loved beyond her immediate family.
Karen and her parents moved to Northern KY in October after living in Alabama for 15 years. She has one older sister living out of state. Karen attended Ryle high school and was in 9th grade. Her friends have described her as amazing, sweet, shy, witty, and quirky. She was coming into her own and developing into a responsible adult. She had a bright future ahead of her.
She was a typical teenager concerned more about her appearance then keeping her room straightened. Karen had chores and responsibilities around the house and never showed reason not to be trusted. She enjoyed keeping up with her friends on Facebook like many teenagers do.
Being raised in the south, she was polite and gracious. She was a respectful teenager and would address adults with Mrs. Miss, or Mr. and respond with a yes or no, sir or mam. Her bus driver said she would greet him each day with a smile and say hi. He commented he wished more kids were like her.
She was thoughtful and concerned, beyond her years, about world issues involving the environment, other people, cultures and religions. Karen believed she could make a difference in the world. Her class ring has a picture of a earth with the inscription "Ours to Save". Karen always had a special place in her heart for animals and animal rights. She was a vegetarian. Her make up was subtle which allowed her natural beauty to show. She would ensure animal testing had not been used in the development of her cosmetic items. She supported animal shelters, Greenpeace, Save the Seals, 350.org, and World Hunger.
On the night of February 27th, Karen had a friend spend the night. Her parents saw Karen alive for the last time at 1100 pm when they went to bed leaving the girls watching a movie and eating popcorn in the living room. Apparently a decision was made to sneak out of the house and have "some fun". How many teenagers sneak out of the house? We believe this is the first time she did this. Karen and her friend made some poor choices that night that resulted in devastating consequences. Karen lost her life due to the people involved exploiting a trusting teenage girl.