Nova Scotia

30 years on, Kimberly McAndrew's disappearance remains unsolved

It’s been three decades since Kimberly McAndrew disappeared after finishing a shift at the Canadian Tire on Quinpool Road in Halifax, but investigators believe there’s someone out there who knows something.

‘It could have been anyone’s daughter,’ says retired detective who worked the case

Kimberly McAndrew went missing on Aug. 12, 1989, in Halifax. She hasn't been seen or heard from since. (Rewards for Major Unsolved Crimes Program)

Thirty years ago, Kimberly McAndrew left her shift at the Canadian Tire on Quinpool Road in Halifax a few minutes early. It was the last confirmed sighting of the young woman.

The case has stuck with Tom Martin, who spent years trying to find who was responsible for her sudden disappearance.

"I think that it could have been anyone's daughter … and that's what makes that case so bothersome to me," said Martin, a retired police detective who worked on the case.

At around 4:20 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 12, 1989, the 19-year-old left her shift. Martin said McAndrew had plans to go to the Halifax Busker Festival with her boyfriend and her family that evening.

He said he doesn't think she made it far from the Canadian Tire because there weren't any confirmed sightings of her.

Kimberly McAndrew in a home video before her disappearance. (CBC)

"Whatever happened, I believe took place in that parking lot," said Martin.

While she was reportedly spotted at the Gardenia Flower Shop at the Penhorn Mall in Dartmouth, Martin doubts she would have gone to Dartmouth after her shift, based on what he learned about the young woman throughout the investigation.

"That wasn't Kim's way," he said.

"She was not adventurous, and for her to go to Dartmouth on her own would have been an adventure. And that's just not what Kim would have done when she had plans that evening."

On the 30th anniversary of her disappearance, Halifax Regional Police put out a plea for anyone to come forward with information.

"We hope the passage of time will encourage them to do the right thing and share what they know with police," said a news release.

"It's never too late to come forward and the smallest piece of information may be just what's needed to progress the investigation into Kimberly's disappearance."

McAndrew was last seen wearing pleated navy slacks, a white Esprit T-shirt with red and green squares, an oversize, navy cardigan, and jade green flat-heeled loafers.

Retired Halifax police detective Tom Martin says he still thinks about McAndrew's case often. (Elizabeth Chiu/CBC)

McAndrew's case is part of the Nova Scotia's major unsolved crimes program, which offers up to $150,000 for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

Martin, who is still in contact with McAndrew's family, speaks with them about once a year.

"She wasn't doing anything wrong," he said. "She wasn't involved in criminal activity. She wasn't hanging with a bad crowd."

Over the years police have searched Point Pleasant Park, Sir Sandford Fleming Park, even Shad Bay, N.S., for the remains of Kimberly McAndrew. Those searches turned up nothing. (CBC)

Martin said it's important for the case to get solved so those responsible can be brought to justice and McAndrew's family can get the answers they've agonized over for decades.

"Otherwise, every year, regional police are going to put out an anniversary [release] like they do on every other case, and that's not going to solve it," he said.

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