On the Run: David Lee Kemp

 Christina Cremer & Robert Miller

Christina Cremer & Robert Miller

August 10th, 1998. A Lawton Oklahoma apartment complex. Within apartment #3 a couple is unwinding from a busy day. Robert Miller is taking care of things around the home while his girlfriend Christina Cremer took a shower. An intruder suddenly barges through the door and opens fire on the unsuspecting Robert. Robert was shot and died shortly thereafter, struck multiple times in the torso. The killer then approached a terrified Christina, shooting her multiple times, leaving her for dead on the bathroom floor. 

Authorities would arrive the next day and immediately had a suspect in mind. David Lee Kemp was the ex-husband of Christina. They had been married for 5 years when Christina decided she had had enough. Over the course of the relationship Kemp had become physically and mentally abusive. Christina wanted out. After the separation the two took different paths; Christina began dating Robert and Kemp began to stalk Christina, refusing to let her go. He would allegedly leave notes on her windshield stating, “If I can't have you, no one can”. On August 5th, 1998, Kemp would receive devastating news. The paperwork finalizing their divorce had come. Maybe Kemp really thought Christina would take him back if he kept clinging to her but she had decided she wanted nothing more to do with Kemp. This would lead to the events on August 10th. A man unwilling to accept that his abuse caused his relationship to deteriorate and instead of taking responsibility and moving on, he decided to kill.

 David Lee Kemp mugshot.

David Lee Kemp mugshot.

Despite being a prime suspect, things became more suspicious when Kemp took off. A man came forward alerting police of a firearm he had sold Kemp. Comparing bullets the man had previously fired with the bullets found at the crime scene confirmed suspicions, Kemp was the murderer. Kemp would finally be taken down when he failed to properly identify himself in Bison, CA to a CHP officer. This would lead to him fleeing and creating a 2-hour stand off with him threatening suicide, gun pressed firmly against his temple. He would be distracted while speaking to his mother on the phone, authorities firing bean bag rounds at the deranged suspect. The murder weapon was found and he was quickly extradited back to Oklahoma to await his trial in Comanche County Jail. 

While awaiting trial, Kemp and a number of other inmates took a prison guard hostage via grilling fork. The gang escaped custody and went on the run. All of the inmates were captured shortly after the incident except for Kemp. Rumors of Kemp sitings were reported to authorities; Texas, Louisiana, Canada. One of the most promising leads was in June of 1999 where he was alleged to have been staying in a hotel under an assumed name. His rent was due but Kemp had no money so he attempted to make good on a promise from a year earlier. The hotel manager got tired of knocking and entered Kemp’s room. There he found Kemp sprawled in the bath tub with a knife near by. He had slashed his wrists and was rushed to the hospital where staff were able to save him. After a brief psychiatric evaluation, he was released and on the run once more. It was far too late before anyone realized who the man actually was. He was last seen leaving a Las Vegas gas station.

The case was kept alive over the years through appearances on shows like Unsolved Mysteries and America’s Most Wanted. The family of the victims also held a spotlight on the crimes, getting news coverage when ever possible to keep the killer’s name fresh in people’s minds. 

After nearly 14 years on the run, Kemp approached a sleeping truck driver at a rest stop on April 26th, 2013. He told the man, “I need you to call Comanche County sheriff's department to come up here. I need to talk to them.” A deputy arrived, identified Kemp and arrested him immediately. He claimed he was tired of running and that years on the run was affecting his health. He would plead guilty and skip trial in exchange for life in prison. He also bartered the investigation into whomever was helping him live would cease. Law enforcement accepted the deal. It was a bitter-sweet ending for the family of the victims. They finally got the cold blooded murderer, David Lee Kemp, behind bars and will most likely die there, but those who helped him over the last decade would not be charged with knowingly helping a wanted fugitive.

 Kemp being led into the court room.

Kemp being led into the court room.