New call for help in young Utah mother's disappearance 23 years ago

New call for help in young Utah mother's disappearance 23 years ago (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) - The daughter of a woman who went missing 23 years ago in the Salt Lake Valley is making a new call for help to finally learn what happened to her mother.

"There's a puzzle piece missing from my heart," said Stephanie Cook. "I suffer with anxiety, depression, and other things, still after 23 years trying to cope with what happened."

Stephanie was just five years old when her mom, Bobbi Ann Campbell, vanished two days after Christmas Day in 1994.

"The last Christmas, she made me wake up at 3 a.m. so we could go open presents," Stephanie remembered fondly.

Then, on December 27, Bobbi left Stephanie with a friend, to drive from Draper to Salt Lake to pick up her paycheck from a temporary agency, and buy groceries. She never returned.

But what happened to Bobbi Ann Campbell?

Stephanie said a relative searched for her car, a blue Chevy Nova, and did not find it. Months later, the car was reported as abandoned on 1100 West, between 200 and 300 South, in Salt Lake City.

Police ticketed the car, Bobbi Ann's father was notified, he retrieved it, but officers apparently did not search for DNA clues inside the vehicle.

"They didn't do a lot because 'you're an adult. You have free will. You can leave if you want to,'" said Stephanie. "So it was kind of hard to get her case opened, even to begin with."

Now, she's trying to put together a reward for information on her mother's disappearance---and the case is still open.

Det. Ben Pender, Unified Police, is working it, and three dozen other "cold cases." He said the FBI is interested in helping find possible associates of Campbell.

Stephanie, who is pleased with Pender's work, said her mother's friends were not "the best crowd," but she was still a good mom.

"I have been in contact with some of the people my mom used to hang around with," she said. They all say she wouldn't just leave me."

The traumatized little girl is now a young mother herself, and she has not lost hope.

"I'm never going to give up until I have answers," she said.

If you have any information about Bobbi Ann Campbell's disappearance, call Det. Pender at 385-468-9816. You may remain anonymous.

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