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Thursday morning, at 6:09 to be exact, Sheila and Dale Tingle released balloons into the sky to honor their daughter’s birthday. It’s the exact time their daughter was born 30 years ago, and it's something they’ve done every year since she went missing on July 17, 2010.
“We do it for hope,” Sheila said.
Kara was last seen on Beechfork Loop Road in Gravel Switch. She was driving a family member's car that was found two days later on the Bluegrass Parkway.
Kara has two children, Austin, 10, and Nora, 3, who haven’t given up hope that their mother will come home.
“Sometimes Austin will say, ‘What if mommy came through that door tonight?’” Sheila said.
Kara Rigdon, as she was known when she disappeared, was going through a divorce when she vanished. That divorce is now final, and her maiden name has been restored, Sheila said.
“Kara was born a Tingle and she will always be a Tingle,” she said.
Police have never named a suspect in Kara’s case.
Kara’s ex-husband, William Robert, “Bobby” Rigdon, is awaiting trial on a murder charge in Casey County.
According to KSP Detective Jamie Richard, the investigation into Kara’s disappearance is ongoing.
“I still have a very good feeling about this case being solved,” he said.
One reason for that is the reward fund that has been re-established. A $10,500 reward is being offered for information leading to Kara's whereabouts. Anyone willing to come forward with information in the details surrounding Kara’s disappearance, which leads to the recovery of Kara or Kara’s remains, will be eligible to receive the reward money.
“We know someone in our community has the answers to solve Kara’s disappearance and bring closure that her family needs and deserves,” the reward flier reads. “It is our hope that by changing the terms of the reward criteria someone will finally come forward.”
Detective Richards said he hopes the reward fund and its new eligibility requirements will encourage someone to talk.
“We need the community to step up and do the right thing,” he said. “We need and appreciate any and all help from the community.”
If you have any information that could help with this case, call the Kentucky State Police Post 15 at (270) 384-4796 or toll free at 1-800-222-5555. Detective Jamie Richard is in charge of the investigation. Tips can be made anonymously.