SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Another possible piece of a puzzle was added to a 1994 missing persons case.
Sunday, volunteer divers discovered a piece of carpet in which Bobbi Ann Campbell may have been wrapped in before being tossed into the Jordan River.
Last week ABC4 reported on an earlier find that included a part of an earring and car keys that may have belonged to Campbell.
She disappeared in late 1994 and has never been found. The Utah Cold Case Coalition and a family investigator tracked witnesses who claimed Campbell died of a drug overdose and she was wrapped in a rug or carpet and tossed into the Jordan River near 1200 West and 250 South.
Dustin Robley, a volunteer diver was one of those who searched the river Sunday.
“Finding an object in the water, in my opinion, is 100% harder than finding it on land,” Robley said.
He said if the water is brown or black there is little chance of seeing anything. The Jordan River fits that description.
“You could be two inches from something and not even know its there,” Robley said.
But he said they got lucky. Using a rope as part of their grid, they touched and felt their way along a targeted area in the River
“I stuck my hand on it,” Robley said. “I wasn’t even sure it was carpet.”
He said the item he was touching was very small and couldn’t be moved.
“I got my hand on it and it was something large buried deep down into the dirt,” he said. “It was a brown shag type rug or carpet. This was something that had been in there for a very long time.”
The divers also found a coat and a winter knit cap.
“We’re feeling very optimistic that we’re finally coming to some kind of conclusion here,” said Jason Jensen, the family’s investigator. “It’s taken me more than a year-and-a-half to get divers to go in the Jordan at this location.”
The next step is to find traces of DNA that could be linked to Campbell.
“We should be able to do a preliminary test to see if there’s a connection and of course there’s going to be plenty of samples available because it’s a large carpet,” said Karra Porter with the Utah Cold Case Coalition.
As for any trace of Campbell’s remains, that’s a more difficult task.
“A body is going to break down, potentially start to disintegrate,” said Robley.
Porter said they plan to continue searching the area realizing what they’re now looking for.
“I think the reality is we would be looking for bones at this point,” Porter said.
The Utah Cold Case Coalition is offering a $3,000 reward for any information that helps with the discovery of Bobbi Ann Campbell.