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Raven Joy Campbell, 37

Raven Joy Campbell, a 37-year-old black woman, was found dead behind a closet wall on Thursday, July 2, in the 26800 block of Western Avenue in unincorporated Lomita, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigators. 

Campbell was reported missing by family members in July 2009. She was last seen in the Harbor Hills Housing Project where she lived, according to Sheriff’s Lt. Steve Jauch. 

Campbell’s sister, Malaikah Manasseh, told The Times she suspected foul play because her sister left her purse behind when she disappeared, something she never would have done. Campbell was a sweet person, her sister said, and could have been taken advantage of because of her mental disability. 

The family received a tip in late June of this year that Campbell’s body was in a downstairs apartment of the housing project in the wall of the closet behind the stairs, according to her cousin, Linda Campbellhumphrey. 

Sheriff’s investigators talked to the family living in the apartment, and then received permission from the county housing authority to knock down a wall inside. They returned with two cadaver dogs on July 2 and discovered human remains.

Jauch identified the body as Campbell on Thursday, but said he couldn’t confirm any other details about the case, not even whether the case is a homicide. The Sheriff’s Department has put a security hold on the case, meaning the autopsy results cannot be made public until the hold is released. 

“All I can tell you is the victim was pulled from behind a wall,” Jauch said. “Obviously, anytime you recover a body from behind a wall, common sense will tell you it’s a suspicious death, but right now we’re treating this as a death investigation conducted by homicide detectives. We still have people we want to talk to, and we’ve got to be sure we’re getting authentic information.” 

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

Jeanette Marantos

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