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One year later: Family and deputies still looking for who killed Kayeleigh Alyssa Gammill

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV)- For Jennifer Gammill, August 30th will always be a day filled with intense emotion. 

It's filled with anger, sadness and unknowns. The remains of her firstborn were found in Big Sur.  

Kayeleigh was one to always try something once. Whether it be food or sports, she wouldn't rule it out before giving it a try. 

As the older sister to twin brothers, there was a strong bond between them.  

“She loved them to death. She would do anything for them. They're struggling really hard right now, said Gammill.  

Last year in mid-august, Kayeleigh went missing. Jennifer waited a day or two before reporting it to the Salinas Police Department. She wanted to be certain this was "a missing person's case." Gammill called all of Kayeleigh's friends and even drove around Salinas at night in hopes of spotting her.

It was unlike her daughter to disappear. Regardless of arguments or fights, there was always a rule: call to let mom know you're okay.  

Read more: Kayeleigh Gammill’s death now considered a homicide

“Nobody had seen her, nobody had talked to her, it didn’t seem right at all because she was very social,” said Gammill.  

Two weeks went by without any news, according to the Gammill. Then there was a call in the middle of the night on August 30th 2022 from a detective with the Monterey County Sheriff's Office.  

“He asked if he could come by and talk to me about it and I said sure and he happens to already be here, so I went to the door and he came in he and another detective was with him and they told me they found her body in Big Sur. It was the worst day of my life."

Jennifer's gut tells her Kayeleigh was likely killed the day she went missing. Her remains were found way out, close to the closure near Paul's Slide.  

Big Sur can be breathtaking but also holds the secrets of where some have taken their last breath.  

Especially for those who decide to end their life by choice, according to law enforcement.   

"From time to time members of the community or even law enforcement come across deceased individuals," said Monterey County Undersheriff Keith Boyd.

The Sheriff's Office is actively investigating Gammill's homicide.

"Anybody who might have seen Kayeleigh in the two days prior to her disappearance or when she was reported missing. If they can contact the Sheriff's Office," said Boyd.

For her mother Jennifer, it would make all the difference to get closure and feel like there is justice for her daughter Kayeleigh who had a whole life ahead of her at just 20 years old.

Just a few weeks after Kayeleigh was found, another young woman from Salinas went missing. Her car was found abandoned in Big Sur. For months, Arelie Garcia's family has protested for more answers.

Police in Pacific Grove are looking for a man believed to be at risk since July, her car was also found abandoned in Big Sur.

Read more: Family raises awareness for Arelie Garcia’s disappearance 10 months ago at Salinas Rodeo

We'll share their stories with you soon.

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Veronica Macias

Veronica Macias is an evening anchor at KION News Channel 5/46.


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