NBC’s ‘Dateline: Death of a Golden Girl’ featured the interviews of various individuals involved with the mysterious disappearance and murder of 26-year-old Paula Sladewski in Miami, Florida, while celebrating New Year in early January 2010. The primary guest was her erstwhile boyfriend, Kevin Klym, as he talked about that fateful night and the ensuing investigation. So, who is Kevin, and where is he now? Let’s find out.
Who is Kevin Klym?
Kevin Klym, of Westland, Michigan, met Paula Angela Sladewski in the latter half of the first decade of the millennium. By then, Paula had already established a career in exotic dancing and was in no mood to give it up. Kevin recounted, “We got to that point where she was like, ‘This is it. Take it or leave it.’ And I said, ‘Well, I love you that much. I’m going to take it.'” According to reports, Paula earned enough for the young couple to move to Los Angeles amidst the 2008 Housing Market Crash.
They moved to and fro between Michigan and California for a few months. According to family sources, they were tight, with Paula taking Kevin to her niece’s wedding and her sister Kelly Farris’ place for Christmas celebrations. While Kelly wanted the couple to stay at her home to celebrate New Year, Paula, 26, had decided to go down to South Beach for the celebrations in December 2009 and to attend a Lady Gaga concert at the Fontainebleau Hotel.
Kevin said, “That was my baby. She didn’t skimp on herself, and she liked to live the good life, you know. And going down to South Beach was like, that was—that was it.” He recalled how he scored scalper’s tickets for $700 each for the midnight concert. Paula’s good looks caught attention as usual, and another attendee, John Williams, would even go on to record the couple dancing at the show. After a couple of nights of endless partying, they arrived at Club Space around 5 am on January 3, 2010, and drank for a couple of hours.
Kevin claimed Paula was too drunk, and he wanted to return to the hotel. But the model, enthralled with all the attention, refused to leave while the security ejected him from the club. He claimed she asked for her credit card, and Kevin handed it over to her before catching a taxi back to the hotel room in Miami Beach. He slept until 11:30 am and woke up to find Paula had not returned. He checked in with the hotel staff before ringing nearby hospitals, prisons, and the Club Space.
When his search turned fruitless, he called the Miami Beach police to register a missing persons report. The officers told him he needed to contact the city of Miami, a different jurisdiction, where Club Space was located. However, the police allegedly refused to take his report before 24 hours, and Paula was reportedly missing for around ten hours. He spent the rest of the night visiting Club Space — closed late Sunday night — and asking around before appointing David Wasser, a private investigator.
Where is Kevin Klym Now?
Kevin also contacted the medical examiner’s office with an accurate description of Paula to learn about Jane Doe’s discovery in a blazing trash bin about 12 miles from Club Space. The body was burnt beyond recognition, and they confirmed it was her remains based on dental records. Kevin was driven to the police station in North Miami, and the officers considered him a person of interest after learning about the couple’s volatile relationship. Paula’s stepfather, Richard Watkins, said, “They fought from the beginning – physical, knock-down fights.”
According to court records from Rancho Cucamonga, California, Paula was arrested in 2009 summer for breaking a bottle over Kevin’s head during an argument inside their shared apartment. She was initially booked for assault with a deadly weapon and released on bond before the charges were dismissed in December. Richard claimed Kevin was arrested for breaking Paula’s nose in their Lavonia, Michigan, hotel room in December 2009 while they were visiting her family.
He also alleged Kevin was supposed to appear in court over that charge on January 4, 2010, though court records couldn’t verify his accusations. But the police cleared Kevin of suspicion after his alibi of going straight to the hotel after Club Space proved infallible based on the cab and hotel records and Club Space’s surveillance video. The lead investigator said, “We explored several avenues of how he could have been involved. Nothing panned out on it. In the investigation, we found that everything he told us was accurate.”
Paula’s sister, Kelly, also supported Kevin, stating she believed he was not responsible and claimed the broken nose incident was supposedly an accident. Based on the remote industrial area where Paula’s body was discovered, the police hypothesized the killer was possibly a local. According to the surveillance footage, the investigators found a couple of bouncers near the front door hallway following Paula out of the club. They checked the background of all the bouncers, including their time sheets and records, but nothing panned out.
Police later released a composite sketch of a man one witness said they saw walking away from the club with Paula. Kevin claimed it matched one of the bouncers working at Club Space that night and visited the club to prove his hypothesis. However, he alleged the club’s security staff had been changed — a claim the club owner, Louis Puig, vehemently denied. Kevin, now in his 40s, resides in Royal Oak, Michigan.
Read More: Paula Sladewski Murder: How Did She Die? Who Killed Her?