Missing Since: December 27, 1991 from Fairfield, California
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: May 7, 1987
Age: 4 years old
Height and Weight: 3'5, 59 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Blonde hair, blue eyes. Campbell has facial dimples. She has light brown-colored moles on her forehead and near her nose. Her ears are pierced. Campbell's nickname is Nikki.
Clothing Description: A pink nylon jacket with the sleeves too short, purple corduroy pants, a dark purple short-sleeved shirt, white tennis shoes with pink trim, and Santa Claus earrings.
Medical Conditions: Campbell occasionally develops a rash around her mouth.
Details of Disappearance
Campbell was last seen near her family's residence in Fairfield, California on December 27, 1991. She left her brother and a friend between 4:30 and 5:00 p.m. to ride her bicycle to another friend's house around the corner. Campbell never arrived and has not been seen again. Her bicycle was found abandoned in a nearby field later that evening.
An extensive search of the area failed to locate Campbell. A pair of child-sized blue socks were located in the street, however; it is unknown if they belonged to Campbell. A photograph of the street corner where Campbell disappeared is posted below this case summary.
Authorities searched the crawl space of a residence on Salisbury Drive for evidence in Campbell's case in June 2001. The home was located only a block away from where Campbell was last seen riding her bicycle the day she disappeared. Investigators received a tip that she was buried underneath the house in late 2000. According to the informant, Campbell had been lured to the residence and then murdered. Campbell had visited the home on December 26, 1991, one day prior to her disappearance. She had been friends with the three boys who lived in the house with their family at the time. The family in question was "rambunctious," according to other neighbors' claims. Authorities do not believe anyone in the family is connected in any way to Campbell's case. The search did not produce any new evidence.
Two men have been named as possible suspects in Campbell's case. Authorities announced that Timothy Bindner had a possible connection to her disappearance, as well as the disappearances of Ilene Misheloff, Amber Swartz-Garcia, Tara Cossey and Michaela Garecht. A photo of Bindner is posted below this case summary. He maintains his innocence and successfully sued Campbell's hometown of Fairfield, California in 1997 for defamation of character. Bindner, a married sewage treatment plant worker, came to authorities' attention after he began sending birthday greetings to young girls in the East Bay area. One child's parents contacted authorities and handed over a letter Bindner had written to their daughter. The note was printed backwards and could only be deciphered by holding it up to a mirror. Bindner claimed he sent the cards as a kind gesture because the girls were "lonely."
Bindner also visited the Oakmont Cemetery gravesite of Angela Bugay, a five-year-old girl girl who was abducted and murdered in Antioch, California in 1983. A photograph of Bugay is posted below this case summary. Bindner was never considered a suspect in her murder and another man has since been arrested in that case.
Bindner approached many of the mothers of missing girls from the East Bay area offering his assistance, including Swartz-Garcia and Garecht's families. Investigators asked Swartz-Garcia's mother to maintain a quasi-friendship with Bindner in hope of learning if he was connected to any of the girls' cases. She and authorities agreed that Bindner appeared to playing mind games with victims' loved ones and law enforcement. Many people theorize that he enjoyed taunting families into thinking that he may have been involved in the presumed abductions. He was once arrested for annoying two little girls whom he was trying to lure into his van, but the charges were later dropped. Bindner often drove around in a light blue Dodge van with a license plate that said "Lov You." Inside the van was wallpapered with many pictures of children. A photograph of the van is posted below this case summary.
Bindner refers to himself as a "good Samaritan." He asked Linda Golston, a reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, to interview him at Oakmont Cemetery at 4:30 a.m. He played his favorite song on her car stereo, "Jesus, Here's Another Child To Hold." Bindner told Goldston that he thought of the missing girls as "his children." She asked him how he believed the abductions occurred and he said one child was submissive, but another fought back against her assailant. Bindner added that he was "guessing" about the girls' reactions.
Bindner wrote a letter to a law enforcement agency in the late 1980s, stating that he believed the next girl who would be abducted from the area would be about nine years old. Garecht disappeared shortly thereafter; she was nine at the time of her abduction. Bindner also sent a holiday card to a profiler for the Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI) in 1990. The card depicted an image of a young girl holding up four fingers. Campbell vanished in 1991 at the age of four.
Search dogs traced Campbell and Swartz-Garcia's scent to Bugay's grave. Authorities never had enough evidence to prove Bindner was connected to their cases, although he was known for visiting the cemetery on occasion.
Bindner was given a heroism award by the California State Patrol after assisting victims in the 1989 San Francisco earthquake. He has never been charged in any of the cases. Curtis Dean Anderson, who was convicted of the 2000 kidnapping and molestation of a young California girl, was also mentioned as a possible suspect in Campbell's case. Investigators searched Anderson's mother's residence in June 2001 for evidence linking him to other missing girls' cases, but nothing was located.