, Stephanie Cook
SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah woman whose mother disappeared 17 years ago has solved a different mystery. She tracked down a brother she's never met.
When Bobbi Ann Campbell mysteriously disappeared in 1994, she left a daughter searching for answers. Campbell also left a son who never even knew she was missing.
"I grew up an only child, and now I have a brother," said Stephanie Cook.
Cook and Thomas Linton are making up for lost time. "We're just getting to know each other," Cook said. "What's your favorite color? What's your favorite food?"
Linton just finished his service with the Utah National Guard. He is in Alabama, so they have been talking on the phone and by text. The siblings will meet for the first time next month.
“I've been trying to find my brother my whole life and finally getting to meet him is really exciting," she said.
But the reunion is bittersweet. Linton is the last connection Cook has to their mother, Bobbi Ann Campbell, who disappeared in 1994. She dropped off her daughter, then 5 years old, at a friend's house while she went to pick up her paycheck and buy groceries.
No one knows what happened to her after that. Her car was found near the Jordan River. It was abandoned and unlocked. Her purse and money were both inside. Police are investigating, but there have been no leads.
Cook was only 1 year old when Campbell put her son up for adoption. With the help of fate and the Internet, Cook found a Deseret News article about her long-lost brother.
In January, she called his adoptive parents, who live in Mapleton.
"I Googled 'Thomas, adopted, Salt Lake City, 1990,'" she said. "I knew his parents' names through the adoption papers I have, and everything matched up."
Thomas was also curious about his birth parents. He left letters for his mother at the adoption agency. "I was wondering why she never responded at all," he said.
He did not know Campbell was missing. “It was really emotional," Cook said. "I stuttered. I cried. It was really hard to tell them (Linton’s adoptive parents) what happened."
Her disappearance is a mystery that police continue to investigate. "I was in shock," Linton said. "At first, I didn't know what to think, but I really want to help this investigation and find out what happened to my birth mom."
Campbell kept mementos of her son: baby clothes and pictures that his adoptive parents sent her. Stephanie held on to them hoping that, one day, she would meet her baby brother.
"I don't feel alone anymore," she said. "I feel like a piece of my missing puzzle is completed and now we just need one more."
Thomas will fly to Utah next month to meet his sister before he goes on active duty for the Army in May.
The two will go to Larkin Cemetery in Sandy on March 9, where there is a memorial stone for their mother. They will release balloons — something Stephanie has done in the past to raise awareness about her mother's disappearance.
- Man steals woman's boarding pass, checks into...
- MTC missionaries spend Thanksgiving preparing...
- Families of 3 missing persons ask for...
- New protocol to help domestic violence...
- Feds: Utah companies accused of conducting...
- 107 years of Grace: Cedar City resident still...
- The new Thanksgiving tradition: A quick meal,...
- Hikers brave cold and wind instead of Black...
- Ogden woman sues trooper, alleging he... 36
- Feds: Utah companies accused of... 26
- Census: Utah has youngest newlyweds,... 16
- Man fighting for custody of daughter... 16
- Man steals woman's boarding pass,... 13
- Utah GOP, state appear headed to court... 12
- The new Thanksgiving tradition: A quick... 10
- Ex A.G. John Swallow wants FBI, DOJ... 7