Reunited Siblings Search for Missing Mother | 5 Spot | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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News » 5 Spot

Reunited Siblings Search for Missing Mother

Stephanie Cook: A decades-long search for mother, brother


Stephanie Cook - DAVID BOBO
  • David Bobo
  • Stephanie Cook

Stephanie Cook was a year old when her younger brother was adopted. When she was 5, her mother, Bobbi Ann Campbell, went missing. Stephanie has spent much of her life searching for her brother and her mother. This year, she and her brother, Thomas Linton, were reunited, but they are still searching for their mother, who went missing in 1994. Cook held a missing-persons event recently in Midvale in honor of Campbell and other missing persons; family members of missing persons wrote messages on balloons and released them into the sky. Contact Unified Police Department Detective Todd Park at 801-743-5850 with any information about Campbell’s disappearance.

Had you always known that you had a brother?

Yes. I kind of looked for him my whole life. But the pictures I had of him all said “Seattle” on the back. I had assumed it was Seattle the city, but it was Seattle printing press, so I had been looking in the wrong place the whole time. He went to school a block away from where I lived, and grew up in Mapleton. I Googled “Thomas, 1990, adopted, Salt Lake City,” and an article popped up that he was trying to find his birth mom.

What was it like to meet your brother again?

It was surreal. It was the craziest feeling in the world, and the happiest day of my life. We’re best friends, we talk every day. We both like video games, we like the same kind of music, we have the same sense of humor.

Who took care of you when you were growing up?

My great-grandparents raised me in Draper. It was really hard not knowing if my mom was alive or what happened to her. My grandma and grandpa were best friends with her. We kept her memory alive in our house—we always talked about her and did everything we could.

How did your mother go missing?

She’s been missing for 18 years this December. It was two days after Christmas. We had gone to her friend’s house to give her a Christmas present. My mom left me there while she went to SOS to pick up her paycheck. And then she was going to get groceries and come get me. I fell asleep waiting, and her paycheck was never picked up. Her car was found almost a year later, abandoned by the Jordan River.

Have there been any leads into your mom’s case?

There’ve been a few, but they don’t really pan out. If anybody has any information about my mom, come forward. She was 24 when she disappeared. She’d be 42 this year. Blond hair, barely 5 foot, 100 pounds. The case was re-opened in ’08.

How did you get the idea for the missing-persons event?

Not many families of missing persons get media attention. It’s really hard. And I’ve just been really lucky and really blessed with getting it, and I wanted to celebrate with [other families] that I was in [Women’s Day Magazine]. Families can share their stories and talk together and support each other.

Rachel Piper Twitter: @RachelTachel