KU student on quest to find girlfriend’s killer

A Kansas University student is using what he calls a “virtual manhunt” in an attempt to find the man who killed his girlfriend.

Phil Howes, a 20-year-old Leawood sophomore, had dated Kansas State University student Ali Kemp for five years before she was killed last summer while working at a Johnson County pool.

Police haven’t found her killer. So on Wednesday, Howes, president of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, sat down at his computer and wrote an e-mail labeled “Ali Kemp Virtual Manhunt-Please help.”

“I don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” he wrote. “This monster will do this again, and we need everyone’s help to try to find him and bring him in.”

The e-mail asks people to go to a Web site and view a composite sketch of a man seen near the pool at the time of the slaying. It also asks people to watch a segment about the crime on “America’s Most Wanted” at 8 p.m. today on Fox, Sunflower Broadband Channel 4.

Howes sent it to all fraternity and sorority presidents at KU. They forwarded it to all members of their houses and asked them to forward it to everyone they knew.

“I’m just trying to help,” said Egan Waggoner, 21, president of the KU Interfraternity Council. “I think it’s a great way to get the word out.”

Ali Kemp, left, is pictured with boyfriend Phil Howes during Howes' fraternity formal last spring.

Howes sent a similar e-mail during the summer after he and Kemp’s father came up with the idea. This time around, he made it more personal, he said.

“I think most people are going to try to pass this on when they see that this isn’t one of those junk e-mails,” Howes said. “I’m getting replies from people telling me they’re sending it all across the country.”

Ali Kemp, 19, a graduate of Blue Valley North High School, was found dead June 18, 2002, in the pump room of a pool near 123rd Street and State Line Road in Leawood. At the time, she was home on summer break from K-State, where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority.

Howes said he thought every day about Ali, and probably would for the rest of his life.

“People think that I’m getting over it because I’m a pretty strong person. I can deal with it in good ways,” he said. “I sort of vent my anger and sadness through trying to help find her killer and trying to raise money for her scholarship fund and foundation, but it’s not something that’s ever going to go away from me.”

More information about the case is available at www.alikemp.com and www.ali-forever.com.