Her disappearance and probable homicide is one of the most well-known cold cases in Salina history and just what exactly happened to Kathryn Adam 25 years ago remains a mystery.
Adam was last seen on the morning of April 29, 1993 at Kwik Shop, 1727 W. Crawford, as she exited out the convenience store’s front door with a cup of coffee and a newspaper in her hand. A surveillance camera captured the moment. That photo, taken at 4:30 a.m., shows Kathryn wearing a blue Kansas City Royals jacket as she is leaving the store. It has been shown to the public dozens of times and is forever etched into the memories of Salinans, some that still wonder what happened to the 35-year-old L’eggs Hosiery representative.
Police say Adam drove away from Kwik Shop in a full-sized Ford van with the L’eggs hosiery logo and the slogan “She has L’eggs” inscribed in white and blue letters on the sides. Sometime after that, she arrived at a storage facility at 2435 Centennial Road to load up her daily hosiery deliveries. It was there that police say something went terribly wrong.
In a 2005 interview with KSN-TV, former Salina Police Lt. Scott Siemsen said it appeared as if Adam was in the middle of loading her van with supplies when she was suddenly interrupted. Siemsen revealed that a pool of blood was found outside the unit and a small amount of blood and bullet fragments were found inside the unit, along with signs that someone had tried to clean things up. Siemsen also said there was evidence that indicated that someone had likely been shot. The door to the unit had been left open, but nothing appeared to have been taken. Adam was nowhere to be found.
The following day, April 30, police discovered Adam’s delivery van abandoned in the parking lot of Russell’s Restaurant, 649 Westport, at about 5:45 p.m. The restaurant, at the time, was closed for renovations. The interior of the van was spattered with blood. Police said the amount of blood found inside the van had the potential to be fatal. Testing conducted by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation revealed that the blood inside the van belonged to Adam. The exterior of the van revealed a small clue of its own. It appeared the van had recently been driven through a muddy area prior to being abandoned at the restaurant.
In the days and weeks after Adam’s disappearance, police conducted searches, but turned up no sign of the missing woman, who was going through a divorce at the time of her disappearance. At the time, she shared a central Salina apartment with her 16-year-old daughter, who reported her mother missing just hours before the abandoned van was found.
Police say they have had suspects during the course of the investigation and have eliminated some. Adding to the frustration of the investigation is that Adam’s body has never been found. In the summer months after Adam disappeared, most of Kansas experienced severe flooding, meaning that if her body had been dumped, it could of been washed away by flood waters and could have ended up just about anywhere.
Investigators do believe that whoever killed Adam is most likely someone she knew and was familiar with her daily schedule and routine. There was a gate and fence around the storage facility at the time and the killer was somehow able to get inside without any problem. It is believed that Adam was likely followed from Kwik Shop to the storage facility by her assailant.
As the 25th anniversary of the crime approaches, Adam’s body has still not been found, no one has been arrested, and for Adam’s family, there are still no answers.
Due to the amount of blood evidence left behind, the case is officially classified as a homicide, and even though it is a cold case, the investigation is still open. Police remain optimistic that the case will one day be solved.
Anyone with any information regarding the case, no matter how small or insignificant it may be, can call Crime Stoppers at 785-825-TIPS, text SATIPS to CRIMES (274637), or visit www.pd.salina.org and follow the Crime Stoppers link to submit a web tip. Anyone wishing to submit information can remain anonymous.
There is a Facebook page dedicated to the case, which can be found by clicking here.