Karen Ramsey’s signature appears on deed well after she disappeared

Karen Ramsey’s signature appears on deed well after she disappeared


The Southeast woman whose remains were found in April purportedly co-signed a deed with her husband selling their condominium in September 1981 – more than a year after police believe she disappeared, according to Putnam County land records.

And that was also more than a year after John Ramsey sued Karen Ramsey for divorce, citing spousal abandonment and seeking full custody of their young daughter, according to a legal notice printed at the time.. And it was also just weeks before John Ramsey remarried, according to his 2022 obituary.

Excavation on a new home being built near Ice Pond Road and Tommy Thurber Lane in Patterson uncovered Karen Ramsey’s buried remains on April 16 and this week state police reported that the Putnam County Coroner’s Office had ruled her death a homicide.

There have been no details provided about the cause of death or whether forensic or circumstantial evidence led to the homicide finding.

John Ramsey, a Vietnam War veteran, had been married before. He and Karen were living in Peekskill in the fall of 1977 when they bought a home in the Holly Stream Condominiums just off Route 22 in Southeast. He was 28; she was 22. Their daughter was born the following month.

Although the couple lived in Putnam County, John Ramsey filed for divorce in Westchester three years later. Online records show the filing was recorded in September 1980 although no details were available there. The legal notice required to be filed to alert his spouse was published in May, the same month state police suspect Karen Ramsey disappeared.

In the legal notice, the couple’s Southeast address is listed correctly but it mistakenly indicates that is in Westchester County and not in Putnam.

The Holly Stream condo was sold to a woman on Sept. 28, 1981, with the signatures of both Ramseys as co-grantors. Karen Ramsey’s signature appears somewhat faded compared to those of her husband and the buyer.

The document is notarized on Sept. 28 by lawyers for John Ramsey and the buyer to indicate that they were present that day and were executing the deed. A third lawyer notarized that a woman named Karen Ramsey appeared on Aug. 17 and acknowledged executing the deed.

John Ramsey’s obituary indicates he married again, on October 10, 1981, and that his third wife survived him. The obituary makes no reference to his first two wives.

There is no known missing person report related to Karen Ramsey and state police have not specified why they believe she disappeared in May 1980. A spokesman, Trooper AJ Hicks, said in an email Friday that it was the last verified time that she had contact with those she knew.

District Attorney Robert Tendy declined to discuss specifics of the case, citing the ongoing investigation, which he called “painstaking” as it involves the killing of a woman last seen more than four decades ago.


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