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Oberle

Trusted Member
A positive ID hasn't been made yet, but the family is pretty sure it's their missing mentally challenged sister. She was in the wall the whole time, apparently. :wtf:

Interesting they got a tip two weeks ago, would love to hear more about who that came from.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-reports-human-remains-inside-wall-lomita-housing-project-20150702-story.html

For six years, Malaikah Manasseh wondered why law enforcement couldn’t find her missing sister.

The 58-year-old said she asked Los Angeles County sheriff's detectives to investigate the case as a possible homicide in 2009 because of one aspect of her sister’s disappearance that seemed particularly out of character: Raven Campbell, then 32, left her purse behind.

“She had a tic ... and that was not leaving her purse,” Manasseh said.

Her sister, she said, always wore her purse strapped against her chest.

Thursday morning, sheriff’s officials confirmed that a body was found. Manasseh and her family fear it is that of Campbell.

“I have a gut feeling it's her,” said Linda Campbellhumphrey, a cousin, sitting in her car, watching investigators from behind yellow crime scene tape. “I have such a feeling in my stomach.”

=Homicide Lt. Steve Jauch declined to comment on whether there was any evidence pointing to the body being that of the long-missing Campbell. It was too early, he said.

“It’s not fair for me to get their hopes up or dash their hopes,” Jauch said. “I’ll have to wait for the process.”

Campbellhumphrey was on her way to work at the Port of Los Angeles about 6:30 a.m. when her co-worker called to tell her that there were reports of human remains found in her missing cousin's old apartment.

She immediately headed to the Lomita complex.

Her missing cousin, who she said “might have had a mental disorder,” was living with a high school friend at the time that she disappeared.

Two weeks ago, she said, someone had called Campbell’s sister to tell her that “they think her body is in [a] downstairs apartment in the wall of the closet behind the stairs.”

* * *

On Monday, investigators requested permission from the county housing authority to go into the apartment and knock down a wall, he said.

The request was granted Wednesday, when investigators went into the apartment and made the gruesome discovery. The family that was living in the apartment was shocked, Jauch said.

“I think the natural reaction from anyone hearing information that there may be human remains where you’re living, I don’t know anybody who wouldn’t be taken aback by that information,” he said, adding that the family has been moved to another location.

Manasseh described her missing sister as “the sweetest, kindest person,” but also as someone whom people could take advantage of because of her mental disability.

“We held out hope because [authorities] said she wasn't here,” she said. “We had a double whammy...we got this call and then our brother passed. Right now we're in a free fall.”

* * *

Diggs, who lives in the apartment across from where the remains were found, said the body was found in the wall behind the stairs.

“It's hollow and connects to the closet,” Diggs, 27, said. “These units are all built the same. They're all concrete except for the wall behind the stairs.”

Diggs said she didn't know Campbell, who disappeared two years before she moved into the housing development.

Neighbor Jose Luna said he's heard other people in the complex complain about a “terrible smell” near the two-story unit where the body was found. People are now worried of what's hidden in their own walls, he said.

“They're scared,” Luna said. “Nobody knew there was a hollow wall there.”​
 

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cubby

Live Long and Prosper
Bold Member!
I think I'd want to be moved to another apartment and that one needs to be shuttered. Also they need to figure out some way to close up that hollow wall, what if a kid got in there? Now that know, tho it ought to be the first place they look when someone goes missing.
 

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lithiumgirl

Pretty Nice Troll
Wow...that's just creepy as fuck. They had to knock the wall down so I don't think this was any kind of accident...considering she was basically entombed.
 

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JackBurton

Veteran Member
Bold Member!
so I don't think this was any kind of accident...considering she was basically entombed.
Article says this enclosure connects to the closet. Likely there is some access point into the wall from there. I highly doubt someone fuckin Edgar Allan Poe'd her ass in there.

Suicide perhaps.
 

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Oberle

Trusted Member
Chances are her "roommate" at the time killed her, popped her body in the back of the closet, and dry-walled it up. I want to know who called the sister two weeks ago with that very specific and accurate tip. Damn shame the police didn't pay any attention to the family back when she disappeared.
 

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McDanel

Trusted Member
Bold Member!
I need a visual. I can't imagine secret walls.
It's not a secret wall. The space under the stairway to the second floor was not wasted by using it as a place for a closet. The closet was built square, leaving a sealed-off triangular void running the rest of the way under the steps. He takes down all or a section of drywall inside the closet that's concealing the void, dumps the body, replaces the drywall, then tapes and paints, done.
 

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LurkinLion

Well-Known Member
It's not a secret wall. The space under the stairway to the second floor was not wasted by using it as a place for a closet. The closet was built square, leaving a sealed-off triangular void running the rest of the way under the steps. He takes down all or a section of drywall inside the closet that's concealing the void, dumps the body, replaces the drywall, then tapes and paints, done.
If he got the quick-dry mud and used latex paint he could have the job done and the stuff back in the closet within 2 hours.
 

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madshrew

best wishes for you
ok but someone living with a dead body for years isn't it going to smell? leak? attract bugs rats. or if this is social housing I guess the people living their didnt want to rock the boat on the cheap rent. When I had subsidized housing, i had cockroaches, mice, leaks, mold and never complained. But no dead body that I know of. I was only paying 130$ for a 2 bedroom, I understand the no complaining thing, but the smell of a large adult body purtefying seems hard to deal with even for cheap rent.
 

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Oberle

Trusted Member
ok but someone living with a dead body for years isn't it going to smell? leak? attract bugs rats. or if this is social housing I guess the people living their didnt want to rock the boat on the cheap rent. When I had subsidized housing, i had cockroaches, mice, leaks, mold and never complained. But no dead body that I know of. I was only paying 130$ for a 2 bedroom, I understand the no complaining thing, but the smell of a large adult body purtefying seems hard to deal with even for cheap rent.
Maybe she was initially bagged up or something? Or sealed in really well? Or maybe it's not the woman who disappeared six year ago, but a more recent victim? Apparently the smell complaints are new:

Although Campbell's family members believe her body was hidden in the walls for years, a resident told NBC Los Angeles that people living in the complex started complaining about a terrible smell emanating from the walls more recently, about a week ago.

http://laist.com/2015/07/03/lomita_body_missing_woman.php
 

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LurkinLion

Well-Known Member
ok but someone living with a dead body for years isn't it going to smell? leak? attract bugs rats. or if this is social housing I guess the people living their didnt want to rock the boat on the cheap rent. When I had subsidized housing, i had cockroaches, mice, leaks, mold and never complained. But no dead body that I know of. I was only paying 130$ for a 2 bedroom, I understand the no complaining thing, but the smell of a large adult body purtefying seems hard to deal with even for cheap rent.
Another good reason not to complain is if you know that the smell is coming from the dead body you put in the wall. The obvious suspect is the roommate, and s/he may have lived there long enough for the smell to ease up.

The other apartments wouldn't have smell, because the only drywall in the building was the one wall inside each closet. Apartment codes require that fire not be able to cross from one unit to another, which results in a pretty tight barrier between units.

Some things the perp might have done to reduce smell are using a vapor barrier, waterproof cement board instead of or under the regular gypsum board, lightweight cement to seal the body up, etc.
 

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madshrew

best wishes for you
Another good reason not to complain is if you know that the smell is coming from the dead body you put in the wall. The obvious suspect is the roommate, and s/he may have lived there long enough for the smell to ease up.

The other apartments wouldn't have smell, because the only drywall in the building was the one wall inside each closet. Apartment codes require that fire not be able to cross from one unit to another, which results in a pretty tight barrier between units.

Some things the perp might have done to reduce smell are using a vapor barrier, waterproof cement board instead of or under the regular gypsum board, lightweight cement to seal the body up, etc.
But if your in social housing you wont have money for all that stuff. If you could drywall with decent skill you'd be out working. Someone wanted 2 grand to do one of my rooms. That's good money. I can see a garbage bagged body, a long term guilty tenant and neighbours who chain smoke the smell away.
 

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Valasca

Death, horror, torture
Article says this enclosure connects to the closet. Likely there is some access point into the wall from there. I highly doubt someone fuckin Edgar Allan Poe'd her ass in there.

Suicide perhaps.
While i find Jack... quisquilian, I don't understand all the negative votes there.
It's an interesting opinion.
You mad you didn't think of it first?
 

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amac

Trusted Member
But if your in social housing you wont have money for all that stuff. If you could drywall with decent skill you'd be out working. Someone wanted 2 grand to do one of my rooms. That's good money. I can see a garbage bagged body, a long term guilty tenant and neighbours who chain smoke the smell away.
If you are avoiding detection for freaking murdering someone I'm pretty sure they'd get resourceful. Pawn the TV and things. I'd say it's enough motivation to get creative.

I have more questions than I can even organize in my head right now. Yikes. It's all so strange!

The family that was living in the apartment was shocked...
No shit?
 

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McDanel

Trusted Member
Bold Member!
But if your in social housing you wont have money for all that stuff. If you could drywall with decent skill you'd be out working. Someone wanted 2 grand to do one of my rooms. That's good money. I can see a garbage bagged body, a long term guilty tenant and neighbours who chain smoke the smell away.
I did drywall one summer. The cost is in the labor, not the materials.
 

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LurkinLion

Well-Known Member
But if your in social housing you wont have money for all that stuff. If you could drywall with decent skill you'd be out working. Someone wanted 2 grand to do one of my rooms. That's good money. I can see a garbage bagged body, a long term guilty tenant and neighbours who chain smoke the smell away.
Actually, you could get everything you needed to do the job from the dumpster on a construction site for free, if you could find a construction site in America 6 years ago. Even if you paid, you are talking 25-30 bucks. Six years ago, construction was pretty much at a standstill here in the states. Construction company owners couldn't scrape together enough work to keep themselves busy, let alone keep people working. Skilled craftsmen could not find any work at all. The owner of a thriving drywall company in Ohio saw such a downturn in jobs near that time that he lost his business and home to foreclosure. That's the guy who made international headlines because he bulldozed his house before the bank could take it.

Besides that, it doesn't take a skilled drywaller to do a good enough job to pass in the dark corner of a closet behind boxes and other stuff.

As I said before, even if he didn't do anything to keep the smell out of his own apartment (and vapor barrier odds and ends wind up in the dumpsters all day long, right along with concrete board -- even a bag of Sackrete is less than $5), it wouldn't ordinarily be able to reach the other apartments.
 

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Azryhael

Princess of Putrefaction
ok but someone living with a dead body for years isn't it going to smell? leak? attract bugs rats. or if this is social housing I guess the people living their didnt want to rock the boat on the cheap rent. When I had subsidized housing, i had cockroaches, mice, leaks, mold and never complained. But no dead body that I know of. I was only paying 130$ for a 2 bedroom, I understand the no complaining thing, but the smell of a large adult body purtefying seems hard to deal with even for cheap rent.
Kitty litter under and around the body is a cheap, easy way to minimise the stink and chance of liquefactive goo staining or damaging the drywall. Quicklime will also speed up decomp and reduce stink.
 

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rod2pop

Rigid Member
Probably only needed half a sheet of drywall. Very cheap. Very easy to put up.
I just worked with drywall for the first time last summer. It was fun and the end result was surprisingly good. Oh, but I wasn't hiding any bodies or anything, just building an extra room in my daughter's house. Really.
 

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amac

Trusted Member
I just worked with drywall for the first time last summer. It was fun and the end result was surprisingly good. Oh, but I wasn't hiding any bodies or anything, just building an extra room in my daughter's house. Really.
Riiiiiiiiight. Don't worry, even if the cops come sniffing around, we've all got your back. Just tell me it was one of the shitheads we read about on here. Please be a pedo... PLEASE! :woot:
 

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amac

Trusted Member
Kitty litter under and around the body is a cheap, easy way to minimise the stink and chance of liquefactive goo staining or damaging the drywall. Quicklime will also speed up decomp and reduce stink.
You seem to be well versed on these matters. ;)
 

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amac

Trusted Member
Occupational hazard. I'm a mortician. And sometimes a paramedic. If it's gross and gooey and came from the human body in any capacity, it's my purview.
Holy crap. I'm even more creeped out. Lol No offence... seriously... only respect! But those are two of the most down and dirty nitty gritty professions I could ever think of. I have so many questions! Will you indulge me? If not, I completely understand... I'm just so curious!

If you tell me to bugger off that's totally fine, but should you be so inclined, I'd love to know...

1) Are you just ever genuinely horrified at your job? I mean, look, I might DREAD those files I have to organize, but I'm pretty sure that telling myself "at least you don't have to get elbow deep in a dead person" is a highlight of my day.

2) Does anyone ever complain? And please forgive me here if I'm just being ignorant. I'd assume you are also the one to apply the makeup, etc. (Right/wrong? I honestly don't know.) If so, or not, do family members complain?

3) How do you eat lunch? No sarcasm here. I just don't understand how someone can spend most of the day manipulating a dead human body and then just pop over to Subway.
 

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Azryhael

Princess of Putrefaction
Holy crap. I'm even more creeped out. Lol No offence... seriously... only respect! But those are two of the most down and dirty nitty gritty professions I could ever think of. I have so many questions! Will you indulge me? If not, I completely understand... I'm just so curious!

If you tell me to bugger off that's totally fine, but should you be so inclined, I'd love to know...

1) Are you just ever genuinely horrified at your job? I mean, look, I might DREAD those files I have to organize, but I'm pretty sure that telling myself "at least you don't have to get elbow deep in a dead person" is a highlight of my day.

2) Does anyone ever complain? And please forgive me here if I'm just being ignorant. I'd assume you are also the one to apply the makeup, etc. (Right/wrong? I honestly don't know.) If so, or not, do family members complain?

3) How do you eat lunch? No sarcasm here. I just don't understand how someone can spend most of the day manipulating a dead human body and then just pop over to Subway.
I'm open to answering just about any questions you have, and I might even start a thread for this stuff in Random Topics or whatever.

1) No, no part of my job horrifies me, but sometimes the things people do to themselves and each other is a bit disconcerting.

2) Yes, family members complain. It's still the service industry, and we understand that it's important for the deceased to "look right" and "like themselves" in the casket. Most family members are polite when requesting I change Granny's shade of lipstick or the set of her jaw, and I'm happy to do whatever I can to help them feel like they were able to properly say their goodbyes to the person they knew. Some people, though, are very rude about things beyond our control. They're no fun.

3) After years in EMS and the mortuary, almost nothing can unsettle my stomach. I just had beef stew for supper after scooping the badly-decomposed remains of a suicide out of the car in which he'd been rotting for at least two weeks. The human brain can adapt remarkably well to just about anything given time, and mine has managed to not be squicked out easily.
 

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amac

Trusted Member
:jawdrop:

And I thought I had bad days at work.

Wow, seriously, thank you. I genuinely appriciate the insight. That "grandma's jaw" comment made me chuckle.

If you'd indulge me with one more question... why did you eventually choose these professions? I could be completely off the mark, but I'm guessing most kids don't say "I can't wait to be...". I'm just grateful there are brave souls like you out there. Thank you for what you do.
 

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amac

Trusted Member
but sometimes the things people do to themselves and each other is a bit disconcerting.
Now I'm just super duper curious. I'd assume you mean murder and suicide? Both awful and tragic, clearly. But I can't help but wonder what crazy stories you have...
 

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