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Body Found In Home's Wall Belongs To Woman Missing Since 2009 [Updated]
Family members of a woman who went missing six years ago believe that the human remains discovered in the walls of a Lomita home earlier this week belong to her.Investigators have not confirmed the identity of the decomposed body found in the Harbor Hills Housing Project located in the 26800 block of Western Avenue in Lomita—a small city just south of Torrance, according to L.A. Daily News. However, family members of Raven Joy Campbell, who was 31 years old when she went missing in 2009, strongly believe the human remains belong to her. After all, Campbell's last known address was the same exact one as the housing project where the body was found.
"I have a gut feeling it's her," Linda Campbellhumphrey, a cousin of Campbell's, told the L.A. Times. "I have such a feeling in my stomach."
Although Campbell's case had gone cold over the years, a TV news program brought renewed interest in the case when it featured her story, and fliers were posted about her disappearance in the areas where she was last seen.
That's when a caller, who saw the flier, called Campbell's sister to tell her that Campbell's body may be buried in the walls of a downstairs apartment closet, according to ABC 7.
Authorities were called in, and investigators brought two cadaver dogs to sniff out the home. They were able to positively identify something was in there. They spoke to the family living there and relocated them. KTLA reports it's not clear how long the family was living in the apartment, though authorities are investigating. After receiving permission from the county housing authority to break down the wall, investigators found the human remains there on Wednesday night.
"I don't know how long the victim has been here, I just don't know," L.A. County sheriff's Lt. Steve Jauch told NBC Los Angeles.
Although Campbell's family members believe her body was hidden in the walls for years, a resident told NBC Los Angeles that people living in the complex started complaining about a terrible smell emanating from the walls more recently, about a week ago.
Family members described Campbell as having a mental disability. Her sister, Malaikah Manasseh, told the Times that Campbell was "the sweetest, kindest person." Campbell had moved around from family members' homes to an assisted-living facility until she moved in with a high school friend named Nicole in the Harbor Hills Housing Project, family members said. At that time, Campbell had become distant from her family.
Campbell's family was notified about her disappearance by Nicole, who told them that Campbell went shopping and didn't come back home, Campbell's sister Cynthia Kemp told the Daily News. Kemp said that Nicole dropped off all of Campbell's personal belongings including a purse that Campbell always wore strapped across her chest. She found it strange that Campbell would even leave her apartment to go shopping without it.
"She had a tic ... and that was not leaving her purse," Malaikah Manasseh, another sister of Campbell's, told the Times.
Kemp said that they told investigators about Nicole, but authorities weren't able to find any leads about her disappearance.
Anyone with information about is encouraged to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.
Update July 9, 1:30 p.m.: The L.A. County Coroner's Office has confirmed that the body found in the wall belongs to Campbell.
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