Roommate Murdered Woman With Hammer Then Hid Her Body In Wall, Says DA
Investigators say that a man accused of murdering his roommate six years ago used a hammer, then hid her body in the walls of an apartment. Randolph E. Garbutt, 43, was charged today with the murder of his former roommate, Raven Campbell, KTLA reports. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department investigators believe he used a hammer to kill her, then hid her remains in the walls of a housing complex in the 26800 block of Western Avenue in Lomita where they had both lived with two others.
Campbell was 31 years old when she disappeared in the summer of 2009. Campbell had been living with her mother, but moved out after her mother suffered a stroke in 2008. Campbell moved around, living with a brother and then at an L.A. assisted-living facility, until moving in with a high school friend, identified as Nicole, and Nicole's boyfriend in December of 2008. Garbutt moved in a few months later.
Campbell's family said that they were informed of her disappearance by Nicole, who told them that Campbell went to the store and never returned. She later dropped off some of Campbell's belongings, including her purse. Campbell's family, who described Campbell as a kind woman with a developmental disorder, said that Campbell was typically insistent that she have her purse with her whenever she went anywhere.
Campbell's body was discovered in July of last year when someone called in a tip indicating that a body was hidden in the wall of Campbell's former apartment. Sheriff's deputies went to check it out and used a pair of cadaver dogs to determine that something was in fact in the apartment. The family living there at the time was relocated, and deputies tore out the wall and discovered Campbell's remains. Authorities determined the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.
Detectives do not believe that Nicole or her boyfriend were involved in the murder, according to the Daily Breeze.