Students Tried Calling for Help

By R. Stickney
|  Wednesday, Nov 4, 2009  |  Updated 8:38 AM PDT
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Student Disappears While Stargazing

Lenny Gemar

Kyrstin Gemar, 22, was last seen Sunday Nov. 1 leaving with friends to go stargazing.

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A Clairemont high school alum who was missing for two days along with her college softball teamates was found dead inside a vehicle pulled from a North Dakota pond Tuesday.

San Diego resident Kyrstin Gemar, 22, was last seen Sunday when she left to go stargazing with 20-year-old Afton Williamson, of Lake Elsinore, Calif.; and 21-year-old Ashley Neufeld of Brandon, Manitoba.  All three attended Dickinson State and played softball for the school’s team.

The only leads investigators had were two phone calls made at 11:18 p.m. Sunday to a friend of the girls. One was a scratchy call for help lasting only 40 seconds.

Using technology to pinpoint where the phone call was made, investigators were lead to a pond about 12 feet deep on a farm northwest of Dickinson.

Tire tracks leading up to the pond and an oil slick on top of the water eventually lead to a submerged 1997 Jeep Cherokee several hours later. The vehicle will be checked for defects, investigators said.

Gemar's family lives in Clairemont and her father, Lenny Gemar, said softball was Kyrstin's life.

"it is the worst day of my life," Lenny Gemar said.  "A parent shouldn't bury a child.  Kyrstin had such a bright future ahead of her."

Before heading to Dickinson State University, Gemar played softball for Grossmont College.  Her coach said she was the reason that the team won the conference championship in 2006 and 2007. 

"I didn't hesitate to make her my captain because I trusted her as a person," said Coach Rick Trestrail.  "I hope that other young people can look at her and her character, values and integrity and the respect she had for life, and I hope they can emulate that."

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