Kim Kelly-Oberhauser’s friends are stunned and confused.
Six weeks ago, on Jan. 22, the Lowell woman’s black, Range Rover SUV was pulled from the Merrimack River.
But Kelly-Oberhauser, who was last seen days earlier, was not inside.
“There are a lot of puzzling things about her disappearance,” Barbara Kloczkowski, a friend, told Boston 25 News on Tuesday — the first interview three of Kelly-Oberhauser’s acquaintances have given since she went missing.
In Lowell, concern grows for Kim Kelly Oberhauser, missing since 1/18. Her SUV found 1/22 submerged in Merrimack River, but she was not inside. Friends fear the worst. “I feel like she has fallen off the face of the earth,” one friend told me. My Exclusive Story @boston25 6pm pic.twitter.com/NKYByzRrpy
— Bob Ward Boston 25 (@Bward3) March 2, 2021
Law enforcement says there’s still an open investigation into what happened to Kelly-Oberhauser and where she may be. Many questions remain.
“I feel like she has fallen off the face of the Earth, and there’s no investigation continuing anywhere,” Jacqueline Smith, another friend, told the news station.
Kim Kelly-Oberhauser was last seen in Lowell on Jan. 18.
In a Jan. 20 Facebook post, Lowell police alerted the public to Kelly-Oberhauser’s disappearance.
Authorities described her as 5 feet, 7 inches tall, weighing 125 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes. She was last seen in Lowell on Jan. 18 around 10:45 p.m. and was operating a 2016 Range Rover with Massachusetts license plates.
MISSING PERSON: KIM KELLY-OBERHAUSER5’7, approximately 125 LBS, BLONDE HAIR & BLUE EYESLast seen in Lowell on 1/18/21…
Anyone with information was asked to call Lowell police at 978-937-3200.
Her SUV was discovered empty in the Merrimack River — across from the apartment complex she moved into shortly before her disappearance.
On Jan. 22, Lowell police announced that with the assistance of the Massachusetts State Police AirWing, authorities located and recovered a vehicle from the Merrimack River — across from the Regatta Field — that day.
“The vehicle was recovered from the water, with the assistance of Lowell Fire Department personnel, and confirmed to be the vehicle that investigators were looking for,” police said in a statement. “The Missing Person investigation is ongoing and efforts to locate Kim Kelly-Oberhauser continue.”
According to Boston 25 News, Kelly-Oberhauser had moved into an apartment complex across the street from where the SUV was found submerged in the river shortly before she went missing. She had recently separated from her husband, the news station reported.
Police say there have been no signs of foul play in the case. A friend said Kelly-Oberhauser ‘would not be suicidal.’
In February, Lowell Police Capt. Mark LeBlanc told The Lowell Sun the investigation into what happened to Kelly-Oberhauser remained “open and active.”
“We have no indications of foul play at this time,” he told the newspaper.
No other details of the case were released.
In a statement to Boston 25 News on Tuesday, Lowell police maintained that investigators have found no signs of foul play so far.
“We have conducted a thorough investigation, which remains ongoing, as efforts to locate Kim Kelly-Oberhauser continue,” the statement said.
“I don’t see how they could say they don’t think it was foul play if they don’t have a body or any evidence of that fact,” Kloczkowski, one of Kelly-Oberhauser’s friends, told the news station. “How can they come to that conclusion?”
The group of friends does not believe Kelly-Oberhauser drove her own vehicle into the water, according to the news outlet.
“She would not be suicidal,” said Lynn Smith. “And if she was, she would not be in the car. That is not Kim.”
Kelly-Oberhauser appeared happy just before she went missing, her friends said.
“Kim did not drive that car; Kim did not put that car in the river,” Lynn Smith added. “And it still boggles me as to how the car got there and who put it there.”
As they urge police to continue investigating, the friends are preparing to hold a vigil in honor of Kelly-Oberhauser on March 21 at the UMass Lowell Boathouse on Pawtucket Boulevard, according to Boston 25 News.
“You can’t assume there’s no foul play without a body. I think they should keep pushing this until they find her,” Jacqueline Smith said. “She deserves to be brought home.”
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