Kelly Kenney lit up any room she walked into. She was a beloved daughter, sister, and granddaughter, which has made her recent disappearance and mysterious death all the more heartbreaking.
Kelly is still missing. We know she was last seen about 11:15pm Tuesday 2/28 at The Recovery Room. Friends sent her…
As ABC News 4 reports, Kenney was last seen on February 28 in Charleston, South Carolina. Her mother, Lori, had contacted the Hanahan Police Department on February 17 when she couldn’t get a hold of her daughter.
Police checked the 23-year-old’s apartment and then opened a missing person’s case.
The public was asked to keep an eye out for the young woman driving a Subaru Impreza with the license plate “SQRRLS.”
UPDATE: KELLY IS STILL MISSING. Her car has been found in North Charleston. Please continue to keep your eyes out and…
On the day Kenney was last seen she had been at the Recovery Room Tavern and sent home by friends at approximately 11:15 p.m.
In a plea to help find her daughter, Lori Kenney revealed what her daughter’s — who had recently entered sobriety — next steps may have been after she left. She wrote on Facebook:
“We believe she called someone for support but was unable to meet. We believe from there she may have went in search of drugs.”
And while there was no information confirming the belief at the time, Kenney’s car was located several days later in an apartment complex in North Charleston where it was towed as an abandoned car, according to Hanahan Police Chief Michael Fowler.
As WYFF reports, Chief Fowler stated that the apartment complex manager recognized Kenney’s unique license plate following a report on the news about her disappearance. He then called the authorities to tell them where her car had been towed.
Police obtained a warrant to search her car and that’s when they made the tragic discovery.
Kenney was deceased in the backseat.
Her untimely death and the events that preceded it are currently under investigation.
Lori Kenney shared the devastating news with those that had been following her daughter’s story:
With profound sadness and grief, I want to let everyone know that my beautiful girl is no longer with us. Kelly was and…
She told ABC News 4 that her daughter had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in February and wrote on Facebook that she had struggled with drugs and alcohol in the past, as well as mental illness and attempted suicide.
She made a poignant admission about what’s to be learned from her daughter’s death:
“We all deal with vices and sometimes they mask a mental illness. If we, as society embraced mental illness as we do cancer, how many lives may not have been lost to drugs, alcohol or suicide,” she wrote.
She explained that her daughter attended AA meetings daily for three weeks while she focused on her recovery, including the day she disappeared. To reduce her to the labels of her struggles, she argued, would be to demean her memory as the person she was — a creative, loving, ambitious young woman.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Health one in five adults in the U.S. — approximately 18.5 percent — experiences a mental illness in a given year. And among the 20 million adults who experienced a substance use disorder over 50 percent had a co-occurring mental illness.
There has been a lot of media coverage surrounding Kelly's disappearance and death. And while good coverage helped us…
Lori Kenney acknowledged that many questions remain unanswered and asked that her daughter not be judged in light of the circumstances surrounding her death.
She made note of Kelly’s compassion as leaving yet another indelible mark in the lives of others, as one question can make all the difference especially if a person is struggling with mental illness or substance abuse:
“Respect the beautiful girl she was who greeted everyone with a smile, who would help anyone, who put others before herself…” Lori wrote.
Adding: “[A]nd who greeted everyone she encountered every day of her life with ‘How’re you doing today?'”