A former Ocean Shores woman whose 8-year-old daughter was murdered in 1980 is reaching out to the community in hopes of memorializing her daughter, Kristine Zimmerman. This year would have marked her 50th birthday.
The girl disappeared from the parking lot of a grocery store in Ocean Shores on May 26, 1980. An extensive search with hundreds of volunteers covered miles of Ocean Shores and the surrounding area. Tracks in volcanic ash still on the ground from the eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18 helped a search team locate Zimmerman’s body. She had been strangled to death and was found in a wooded area outside Ocean Shores.
Her killer, Max Vollendroff, was a volunteer at the family’s church and a co-worker of the girl’s mother, Sally Allwine. After an extensive investigation, he admitted to police that he attempted to sexually assault the girl before strangling her with a piece of tubing when she said that she would tell her mom about the incident. Vollendroff died in prison in 2012.
Allwine, who lives in Richland now, was six months pregnant at the time of the abduction. “The community was a tremendous support to us as we searched for her,” she said. Allwine moved out of the area later that summer, but said that she grew up there and frequently returns.
The family plans a celebration of Zimmerman’s short life at Griffiths-Priday State Park around noon on July 10. Allwine is inviting anyone who may remember her daughter, and especially those who helped her family in their time of need, to the event. “This will be a very special gathering and I would love to hear from anyone local who might like to be included.”
Allwine said she’s also seeking to commission a local artist to craft a memorial in her daughter’s name, “I would like to have a local craftsman build a friendship bench to be placed in an appropriate space on the playground.” She said Rhonda Ham at the elementary school her daughter attended was excited about the idea. She added, “Judy Horn, whose husband is the Pastor at Faith Community has agreed to do a design for the plaque that will be on the bench.”
Allwine said once an artist is chosen she plans to collaborate on the design and hopes to be able to dedicate the work to the school this fall.
Interested artists should contact Sally Allwine by email at Skallwine@aol.com.