MIAMI, FL — Gorgeous, free-spirited, and all of 26, professional model and former exotic dancer Paula Sladewski rang in 2010 alongside her boyfriend, Kevin Klym, with a multi-day New Year celebration in Miami. Their revelry ended in utter hideousness.
On January 3, just hours after the couple argued at a nightspot called Club Space, police happened upon a smoldering dumpster about 12 miles away. Inside, a body had been torched beyond initial recognition. It was found to be Paula Sladewski.
Personal jewelry and dental records confirmed Sladewski’s identity — although the physical damage proved so severe that authorities could not even determine how she died.
Naturally, investigators first took a long, hard look at Kevin Klym. His relationship with Sladewski was described as “rocky” at its most mild. Police had even arrested Klym the previous December for allegedly breaking Sladewski’s nose. But as they had following previous blowouts (several more of which involved the cops coming to their house), the couple quickly made up.
The New Year’s Eve trip, then, started with the best of intentions. Sladewski and Klym had initially planned to celebrate in Las Vegas, but changed their mind after getting tickets to a Lady Gaga concert in Miami. They flew in from their home from South Carolina on December 31.
Reportedly, the pair spent the next few days boozing and clubbing — a recipe seemingly destined to stir up Klym’s alleged anger. According to witnesses, that’s exactly what happened at around 5 A.M. at Club Space.
Sladewski reportedly got quite intoxicated and let loose on the dance floor. She supposedly flashed the crowd, flirted with other men, and generally played the part of a “girl gone wild” as she had in the home video, Playboy: The Ultimate Party Search.
Annoyed by her behavior, Klym insisted they leave and tried to pull Sladewski away. Club Space security described it as a “physical altercation” and 86’d Klym from the premises. Separated from Sladewski who didn’t want to leave the club yet, Klym said he caught a cab and slept it off back at their hotel. Receipts and surveillance footage appear to confirm his account.
However, no one knows exactly what Sladewski did next. Grainy CCTV video depicts her leaving Club Space at 7 A.M., possibly accompanied by a large-built Black man with a crew cut and tight-cropped beard.
Some witnesses reported seeing her talk to a man outside, but none could be sure if she drove off or otherwise departed with him. Nonetheless, based on their testimony, police issued a sketch of a potential person of interest.
The video also proved that Kevin Klym was not the last person seen in public with the still living Sladewski. Regardless, some close to the case seemed reluctant to give him a pass.
One of Sladewski’s ex-boyfriends claimed she texted him that morning with the message: “He’s trying to kill me.” He presumed she meant Klym.
Kevin Watkins — Sladewski’s stepfather who deemed her relationship with Klym “horrible” — backed up that idea. He told the press that Paula had sent him similar texts on multiple occasions.
Still, Kevin Klym has only ever remained only a person of interest in the murder and not a suspect. Kelly Farris, Sladewski’s sister, has repeatedly said she believes Klym is innocent.
In addition, North Miami Police Detective Michael Gaudio has stated that Klym’s alibi “checks out 100-percent.” Gaudio adds that Klym had neither a car nor working knowledge of Miami’s streets, so it’s highly unlikely he could have transported Sladewski to the remote, industrial area where she was found without being spotted.
What remains is just a tragic unsolved mystery. Authorities ask anyone with any information regarding the murder or Paula Sladewski to contact the North Miami Police Department at (305) 891-0294.
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Main photo: Paula Sladewski [Investigation Discovery]