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

A caucasian woman, Elizabeth Campbell, with long brown hair and bangs with her chin resting on her folded arms.

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

A police sketch of a possible male suspect.

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.

A woman in a white sweater and jeans standing at a payphone.

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 woman in a white shirt entering a convenience store.

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.”

Three different flyers with photos of Elizabeth Campbell on them.

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.”

A cashier in a orange shirt watches as a man and woman leave the store.

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.”

A woman in a pink shirt with her hair half up is walking away.

“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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34 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Sara

    She will NOT be found cause law enforcement don’t care about the case like they didn’t care 30 something years that she’s been missing. I have tried to help, but they will NOT listen to me.

    Reply

  2. Avatar

    Monica

    I dont know why I thought this was solved.. The Jane Doe found in Falls county does look similar to EC. Im sure the remains found were bones and no flesh, therefore we cant match the many scars listed in the description above. Just from my amateur sleuth knowledge, its obvious there is more to this story. At first, I thought, BOYFRIEND.Im not so sure. He said he didnt know she left he may have meant he didnt know she actually left like walked away far enough to be picked up. No one told her to walk away is what he is saying. If I am not mistaken he didnt go to pick her up bc he was mad that she left to begin with. He shouldve been interviewed via UM so that he could give a more clear explanation.
    What I have an issue with is the purse turning up in evidence. Who found it, which officer collected it and when?? Clearly, someone turned it in..
    Another case on Um where the girl let her bf drive her car and he broke the stick shift . He parked her car and went to a friend’s , never picking her up from work. Remember, she went to where he was, took her car keys then left walking to where he had left the car. I just knew he killed her. I mean he had to. He was mad that she was mad he broke her car! There were no other possibilities in my mind. I was wrong..Some serial killer’s DNA was later found on her..
    So, maybe the bf is innocent. Im sure if he werent and it could be proven he wouldve been charged.. I dont think the sightings were her either. I dont understand how ppl can not THINK before calling in these tips. I do not believe for a second that anyone that called saw her. I truly think thats her they found in falls county..But it would seem like by NOW that lead wouldve been checked. I mean so many ppl have said the same.

    Reply

  3. Avatar

    Peggy Thomas

    I was hoping that this woman had been found and returned to her family. I know it has to be devastating for them not knowing asked you was there she was if she was well. God be with you. You’re in my prayer. I can’t even imagine how I would feel if it was my daughter. I hope and pray that one day comes home.

    Reply

  4. Avatar

    gerald

    The Long Island Serial Killer has similar features as the same guy who took EC.
    look it up people!

    Reply

  5. Avatar

    Mary Hlad

    Law enforcement should concentrate on finding the man who was with Elizabeth Campbell. If they find him, they’ll find her. More than likely, she’s alive. Whomever the man was wouldn’t lose profits by killing her, unless she tried to escape.

    Reply

  6. Avatar

    Sandy

    Law enforcement need to be re-interviewing the boyfriend, I think he knows more than what he’s telling. They should have continued questioning him because he probably would have kept changing his story

    Reply

  7. Avatar

    Ali

    I also think it was the boyfriend. Seems likely to me they got in a fight and he killed her. Then he went to a payphone and called his own house so there’s be a record of a phone call so he could say she had left. Otherwise, why would he not have asked more questions in the phone call like, who drove you? And if she was scary as she said, she would have gone into the store

    Reply

  8. Avatar

    Marvin

    Excellent article from April 2018: https://www.kwtx.com/content/news/Copperas-Cove-PD-continues-looking-for-clues-on-30-year-old-case-480894621.html

    Elizabeth’s purse was found in 1988-89. Police only realized it was hers in 1992. (Seriously!?)

    I think either the boyfriend or man who gave her a lift might have had something to do with her disappearance. It just doesn’t make sense that if she was abducted that the person would walk around in public with her.

    Reply

  9. Avatar

    Risa Johnson

    To Ms Campbell’s parents keep the faith and God bless. You’re in my prayers and so is your daughter. May she come home to you soon!

    Reply

  10. Avatar

    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

  11. Avatar

    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

  12. Avatar

    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

  13. Avatar

    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

  14. Avatar

    Anonymous

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

    Reply

  15. Avatar

    Anonymous

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

    Reply

  16. Avatar

    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

  17. Avatar

    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

  18. Avatar

    Anonymous

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

    Reply

  19. Avatar

    Chanita

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

    Reply

  20. Avatar

    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

  21. Avatar

    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

  22. Avatar

    Nicki

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

    Reply

  23. Avatar

    Brika

    Blonde 5’6 brown 6’0

    Reply

  24. Avatar

    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

  25. Avatar

    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

  26. Avatar

    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

  27. Avatar

    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

  28. Avatar

    steve

    i pray that she returns home

    Reply

  29. Avatar

    Sondra

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

    Reply

    • Avatar

      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

  30. Avatar

    Dahlia

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

    Reply

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