Novi teen linked to suspected serial killer last seen 40 years ago at Twelve Oaks Mall

Officials suspect Kellie Brownlee was victim of convicted killer Arthur Ream

Kellie Marie Brownlee (NamUs)

NOVI, Mich. – It’s been exactly 40 years since a 17-year-old Novi girl -- whose disappearance was linked to a suspected serial killer -- went missing from Twelve Oaks Mall.

Kellie Marie Brownlee was last seen around 11 a.m. May 20, 1982. In the four decades since, officials have suspected her disappearance is linked to Arthur Ream, a convicted killer and suspected serial killer.

Arthur Ream. (WDIV)

In May 2018, officials searched a wooded area in Macomb Township for the bodies of missing persons they had connected to Ream. It was the same area where police previously found the body of Cindy Zarzycki, a 13-year-old girl who disappeared from Eastpointe in 1986.

Ream was in prison for the rape of a 15-year-old girl when he spoke to investigators in 2008 and described the property at 23 Mile Road and North Avenue as the place where he had buried Zarzycki.

During the May 2018 search, Local 4 learned that authorities were investigating whether Ream was a serial killer linked to the disappearances of Kimberly King, Kim Larrow, and Brownlee.

“I’ve always thought that Mr. Ream was responsible for additional kidnappings and murders and felt that area (in Macomb Township) could be a place where other bodies were buried,” said John Calabrese, former deputy police chief for the Eastpointe Police Department.

Authorities dig behind an abandoned home in Macomb Township on May 7, 2018. (WDIV)
Kimberly King, Kellie Brownlee, and Kim Larrow

Detectives said Ream is a manipulator who loves to play mind games. Ream has admitted he enjoys watching police search for clues.

Authorities have long considered where Ream’s other possible victims could be, but Brownlee is among those who have never been found.

She was last seen wearing white pants, a halter top with another shirt over it, and high-heeled shoes at the mall before she went missing.

An age progression photo was created in 2013 to show an estimate of what Brownlee would have looked like at 48 years old.

An age progression photo of Kellie Marie Brownlee done in 2013 to estimate what she would look like at 48 years old. (NamUs)

Now, 40 years after her disappearance, Brownlee would be 57. Authorities still haven’t been able to close her case.

Anyone with information is asked to call the West Bloomfield Police Department at 248-975-9200.

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About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.