The Mysterious Disappearance of Elizaeth Campbell - Unsolved Mysteries

A college student disappears from a pay phone and is later seen under the control of a mysterious man.

Elizabeth Campbell

Missing:

Gender: Female
DOB: 5/31/67
Height: 5’2”
Weight: 96 to 106 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black
Defining Characteristics: Has scars on her forehead, elbow, under her chin and on her right eyebrow. She has a mole on her back between her shoulder blades and a small birthmark on her right buttock.

CASE DETAILS

Police sketch of suspect

On the night of April 25th, 1988, 20-year-old college student Elizabeth Campbell, of Lampasas, Texas, had a fight with her boyfriend. Rickie Ray, took her books, and stormed out of his house. Forty-five minutes later, Rickie says, she called him from a pay phone 11 miles away:

“Elizabeth called me from a convenience store and wanted me to come pick her up. We got into a little disagreement there, because I was asking her why she left my house without telling me. I didn’t understand why she’d do something like that because it’s not like her.”   

That phone call was the last anyone ever heard from Elizabeth Campbell. However, her family and friends believe that Elizabeth may still be alive.

Elizabeth disappeared after making a call

Elizabeth lived a fairly sheltered life at home, but was planning to go to Texas A & M in the fall. Her father, Tom Campbell, was immediately worried when she disappeared:

“As soon as we knew she was missing, we knew something had happened to her. It’s too much out of character for her to not tell her mother where she was when she wasn’t at home .”

A witness claimed she saw her at a gas station

Elizabeth’s parents immediately distributed thousands of flyers throughout central Texas. Their efforts soon paid off. Only six days after she was reported missing, a girl matching Elizabeth’s description was spotted by convenience store clerk, Roger Anyon, about 85 miles from where she disappeared:

“This car drove up to the fuel tank and a man got out of the car and took a young woman by the arm and brought her into the store with him, holding on to her arm. It wasn’t as if it was a boyfriend/girlfriend type hold, it was his hand was above her wrist. I was up at the counter, and he pushed a twenty-dollar bill out with one hand. The girl looked up at me, and I said ‘Yes, can I help you?’ He said something to her in a language that I didn’t understand, and she dropped her head, and looked down, as if she was being punished for trying to say something. She just hid, put her face down, and that was the end of that.”

Fliers were handed out by her parents

Then, another eyewitness, Michelle Christenson, came forward with a second sighting of the couple that matched the first in nearly every detail:

“The first thing that caught my eye was that he had a real mean, rough look to him. He gave the attitude that he didn’t want her to talk, just to stay silent, and that’s a weird situation because if someone wants to talk, they usually talk. But she didn’t. When I handed the strawberry cone to him, Elizabeth Campbell looked up at me. She looked like she was being pulled around. She wasn’t with him by choice.”  

He seemed to be controlling her

Despite these two sightings, local police were not convinced that Elizabeth was the young woman under the control of the rough-looking man. But two months later, on July 10 th , a woman named Virgie Johnson claimed to have seen Elizabeth, this time at a gas station over 150 miles from Kileen:

“I had just left my car, going in to pay for the gas, and I bumped into Elizabeth coming out of the store. Elizabeth acted as if maybe she was frightened of someone, or maybe she was being watched. When I saw a photograph of Elizabeth, I automatically knew that that was the girl that I had bumped into in Garland. I was just positive that that was Elizabeth Campbell.”

“She acted as if she was frightened …”

Now they had three sightings. Elizabeth’s parents were more and more convinced their daughter was alive and being held against her will. The Campbells fear that Elizabeth was being forced to work as a prostitute. Lois Lee is founder of Children of the Night, an organization that rescues young people from prostitution by providing counseling and helping them find shelter:

“Usually, when someone abducts another person for purposes of prostitution, they have a process by which they strip away their identity and supply them with a new one.   Oftentimes, it involves being repetitively raped. They’re deprived of food, they’re deprived of light, they’re deprived of water, of whatever it takes in order to strip away their identity and to force them to assume another one. The pimp creates an invisible leash by presenting himself as if he’s omnipotent. It’s like he’s saying, ‘No matter where you go, no matter what you’re doing, I’ve got someone who works for me, or a friend of mine, watching you’. That’s why she would never make eye contact with anyone. And if she does, and she looks like she’s asking for help, then she goes back to the closet, until she has learned.”

To this day, Elizabeth has not been found. But her parents refuse to give up hope. Tom Campbell:

“There’s no way we can give up until we find out where she is, what’s happened to her.   She’s our daughter, not what somebody’s trying to make her. She’ll always be our little girl.”

UPDATE: In 1992, Elizabeth Campbell’s purse was located in the property room of the Crockett County Sheriff’s Department. It is unknow how it got there, or how long it had been there.


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season two with Robert Stack and in season six with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

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25 Comments

  1. Charles

    Just watched this case last night. I think this is likely a human trafficking case. Although I tend to agree with the police department official at the beginning of the story—she was likely murdered. I hate to say that because it can cause such pain for the family. However, after 30 years you have to wonder what the outcome could be. I had a female friend go missing in 2014 and four years later, not a trace of her can be found. She hasn’t logged into her facebook, which she was very active on, or anything. She had fallen on hard times and was homeless in downtown Mobile, AL at the time of her disappearance. You just have to wonder what the possibilities are. Like Elizabeth, Molly, which is her name, was also very popular and had lots of friends.

    Reply

  2. Sarah

    I think the spottings of her were either of another woman, or lies. If you’re in the business of kidnapping grown, intelligent, well-liked women in their home country, you don’t go parading them around public gas stations. You keep them locked in a brothel and high on drugs and alcohol.

    Reply

  3. thinkingoutloud

    boyfriend seems a little controlling. upset that after they had a fight, she left and he’s upset she didn’t mention anything to him? and how did he not know she left the house for a whole 45 mins? i think he’s lying. maybe he killed her during that argument and he’s trying to cover it up.

    and if it is true she was seen with another controlling man, it sounds liek human trafficking / prostitution to me. the boyfriend sounds controlling so maybe he worked for a pimp or whoever and willingly gave her up

    Reply

  4. Daniel

    Has it been confirmed yet that she is not the unidentified body found in Falls County?

    http://web.archive.org/web/20160304105107/http:/www.txdps.state.tx.us/mpch/UnidentifieddetailsPrint.asp?id=U0802020&Person=Unidentified

    This description and reconstruction are about as close as one could possibly get.

    Reply

  5. Anonymous

    Human trafficking check into strange front company that could be a lead

    Reply

  6. Anonymous

    What the heck was her purse doing at the police department? I wonder if someone that worked there could have been involved?

    Reply

  7. Dave

    Plus this article is not accurate – she was from Lampasas, TX, was attending a community college in Killeen, TX. She vanished after making a phone call from a convenience store in Copperas Cove, TX which is between Killeen and Lampasas.

    Reply

  8. Dave

    This article needs to be updated. Four years after she disappeared her purse was found in the evidence room of a sheriff’s department nearly 300 miles west of Copperas Cove – the city from where she vanished. The sheriff’s department had no record of anyone turning in the purse or where it came from.

    Reply

  9. Anonymous

    It seems almost obvious that the boyfriend is lying. My money is on that he killed her. His statements conflict.

    Reply

  10. Chanita

    Oh my god that’s Terrible I Hope That Man Will Bring Her home safely She Needs Her Family!

    Reply

  11. Anonymous

    This transcript made a mistake on Elizabeth’s age at the time of her disappearance. It listed her age as 21, even though she was actually 20. By her 21st birthday, May 31, 1988, Elizabeth had already been missing for well over a month.

    Reply

  12. james

    Statement says that she had a fight with boyfriend then stormed out of the house, but then he says she couldn’t figure out why she left the house without telling him. If they had just argued and she stormed out then he already knew that she left! I’d look into the boyfriend again, she may have not even left the house in the first place

    Reply

  13. Nicki

    I hope Elizabeth is found soon I’ll keep her in my prayers.

    Reply

  14. Brika

    Blonde 5’6 brown 6’0

    Reply

  15. David

    Has anyone in Texas or outside of Texas ever seen that woman before? She would be 48 going on 49 years old today. She might still be going around with that man who seems to be controlling her. If you have, call the police, right now. Let’s just hope that man hasn’t killed her if he’s still has her alive no matter what.

    Reply

  16. Angela Scullion

    Why has everyone just ruled the boyfriend out ?
    I would bring him in for questioning again as something is not quiet right with his story

    Reply

  17. Alien

    @Kristle I really hope someone looks into the possibility that the unidentified remains found in Texas could be Elizabeth. It looks to me like it could be her….

    Reply

  18. Kristle

    There is a article on Facebook about a woman’s remains found in falls county in 2000, they have not yet identified her. But the description sounds like Elizabeth Campbell.
    http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/mpch/UnidentifieddetailsPrint.asp?id=U0802020&Person=Unidentified

    Reply

  19. steve

    i pray that she returns home

    Reply

  20. Sondra

    I am praying for Elizabeth Campbell and hope that she is returned to her family.

    Reply

    • Black Bieber

      I agree with you 100%. If Elizabeth Campbell is still alive (she would be about 49 years old now), then I pray to God she is found alive & well.

      Reply

  21. Dahlia

    She was beautiful and looked like the actress Anna May Wong. I hope she is found alive soon.

    Reply

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ARTICLE 4. Public forums
4.1 This Website may make available chat rooms, blogs, forums, message boards, and news groups. Please remember that any information that you disclose in these areas becomes public information and you should exercise caution when deciding to disclose your personal information. Information disclosed by you or by others enters the public domain and may be freely used by any other persons or entities using the site.

ARTICLE 5. Information Sharing With Third Parties
5.1 From time to time we may enter into a special relationship with another company that is not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. to provide additional features at this Website. These special relationships may include “powered by” partners, business partners, sponsors, and co-branded sites (referred to here as “co-branded pages”). These might include, for example, pages that share our name and that of another entity. You should look for a specific privacy statement on any such co-branded page. Any personal information that you provide when signing up at one of those co-branded pages may be shared with our third party partner. You should also check our partner’s website for information regarding its privacy policies.

5.2 Also, the nature of some features of our Website may require that we share personal information about you with persons or companies outside of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. For example, this may occur at a feature that enables you, via our Website, to ask questions of persons or entities that are not part of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. By responding to those features of the site, whether by email or direct entry of information on our Website, you are consenting to our transferring that information to such persons or entities.

5.3 With respect to specific registration modules, like contests, we may disclose personal information collected, and we may post a conspicuous statement on the registration module to the effect that we will be disclosing the information collected with third parties.

5.4 Finally, we may share any of the information collected from you with these other non- Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc companies in an aggregate basis. The aggregated information is not linked to any information that can identify you.

ARTICLE 6. IP Address and Log Files
6.1 We may use your IP address to administer our Website, to help diagnose problems with our server, to analyze trends, to track users’ webpage movements, to help identify you and your shopping cart, and to gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.

ARTICLE 7. Cookies
7.1 This Website may use a standard technology called a “cookie” to collect information about how you use the Website. Cookies reside on your computer and help our Website to recognize your computer’s browser as a previous visitor. This information allows us to customize delivery of information. For example, our Website may use cookies to save and remember registration information or preferences that you may have set while browsing the Website, to keep track of your shopping cart, to ensure you don’t see the same ad content repeatedly, to deliver content specific to your interests, and to save your password so you do not have to re-enter it each time you visit our site. We use cookies only to gather information as indicated in this policy.

7.2 In addition, on occasion our site may also set a “session cookie” which helps us administer the Website. The session cookie expires when you close your browser and does not retain any information about you after it expires.

7.3 Finally, we may also use an ad network provider to help present advertisements on this and other Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. websites. This ad network provider, like other advertising service vendors, uses cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies on the hard drive of your computer to serve you advertisements tailored to interests you have shown by browsing on this and other sites you have visited, and to determine whether you have seen a particular advertisement before and to avoid sending you duplicate advertisements. In doing so, the provider collects non-personal data such as your browser type, your operating system, web pages visited, time of visits, content viewed, ads viewed, and other clickstream data. The use of cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies by these ad network providers is subject to their own privacy policies, not ours, and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. assumes no responsibility for the collection or use of such information.

ARTICLE 8. Banner Advertising
8.1 We have contracted with an ad-service to place banner advertising on our Website. All of the data provided and generated by the ad-server software remains in our possession. This feature of our Website may, on occasion, set “cookies” on your computer. Any information collected or stored by the ad-service or the cookies is treated in the same manner as other information described in this statement.

ARTICLE 9. Children’s Personal Information
9.1 Consistent with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act:

9.1.1 This site does NOT collect, use, or disclose personal information (including online contact information) of children under the age of thirteen (13).

9.1.2 In the event that a child under the age of 13 attempts to register on our site, we will NOT accept the registration and will delete information received from the child.

9.1.3 In the event that a child posts personal information in a public forum such as a chat room, we will attempt to delete that information once we become aware of it.

ARTICLE 10. Security of Your Personal Information
10.1 Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. employs reasonable security measures consistent with standard industry practice, for information collected through this Website. We believe that we have adequate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of the information we collect on our Website. We also use internal protections to limit access to users’ personal information to only those employees who need the information to perform a specific job.

ARTICLE 11. Sale or Merger
11.1 If this Website is sold to, or merges with, another company not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc., you should expect that some or all of the information collected from this Website may be transferred to the buyer/surviving company. If so, CMP will seek to obligate the acquiring company to use any personal information transferred by this Website in a manner consistent with this statement, but cannot guarantee that it will be able to impose that requirement or that the acquiring company will comply.

ARTICLE 12. Legal Process
12.1 You should be aware that Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. may be required to disclose your personal information to the government or third parties under certain circumstances, such as in court or regulatory proceedings.

ARTICLE 13.  Contacting the Website

13.1        If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, the practices of this Website, or your dealings with this Website, please contact us at: unsolved@unsolved.com.

ARTICLE 14.  general information

14.1        Choice of Law:  This Agreement and the Additional Terms shall be governed by, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of California , as it is applied to agreements entered into and to be performed entirely within such state, without regard to conflict of law principles.

14.2        Choice of Forum:  You agree that any cause of action you or Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. brings to enforce this Agreement and/or the Additional Terms, or in connection with any matters related to this Website and/or the Privacy Statement, shall be submitted to arbitration in the County of Los Angeles, State of California, United States of America in accordance with the commercial rules and regulations of the American Arbitration Association then in effect (as amended herein), provided that said arbitration shall be heard before a single arbitrator, who shall be a retired judge, selected pursuant to such rules and regulations, and shall be conducted on an expedited basis and in confidence. The arbitrator’s decision shall be controlled by the terms and conditions of this agreement and any other agreements I may enter into with you, and shall be final and binding, and shall provide for each party to bear its own costs of arbitration and attorneys’ fees.  Each party expressly waives any right to a jury.  Judgment upon the award of the arbitrator may be entered or enforced in any court of competent jurisdiction. 

14.4        If any provision of this Agreement, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances, is held invalid or for any reason unenforceable then such provision shall be deemed superseded by a valid, enforceable provision that matches, as closely as possible, the original provision, and the other provisions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.  The failure of either party to insist upon strict performance of any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right.  Unless expressly provided otherwise, this Agreement is the entire agreement between you and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. with respect to the use of this Website and shall not be modified except in writing, signed by an authorized representative of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc.

ARTICLE 15.  European Union and Other Foreign Nations

15.1        This Website is governed by and operated in accordance with the laws of United States of America and is intended for enjoyment of residents of the United States.  Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. makes no representation that this Website is governed by or operated in accordance with the laws of other nations.  By using this Website and submitting any personal information, visitors from outside of the United States acknowledge this Website is subject to U.S. law, consent to the transfer of personal data to the U.S., and waive any claims that may arise under their own national laws.