Someone suggested I write about Nikki Campbell for Select It Sunday, and I thought: why not? Although I did make her MP of the week awhile back, her case hasn’t gotten much press.
Her full name was Amanda Nicole Eileen Campbell, but everyone called her Nikki. She disappeared in 1991, two days after Christmas, which must make that holiday even harder than usual for her family to bear. Nikki was four and a half, but tall for her age and on the chubby side, so she may have looked a year or two older.
As you’ll see in her Charley Project casefile, some other little girls disappeared from the same general vicinity and some people think the cases are connected. A guy named Tim Bindner has been bandied around as a suspect for years. He might be guilty. Or he might just be very eccentric. Certainly his behavior is suspicious and he’s probably a pedophile, but the police haven’t found one grain of solid evidence to tie him to any of the disappearances. There are other suspects in the offing too, who unlike Bindner are proven child predators.
Tantalizingly, Nikki Campbell disappeared from virtually right outside her front door — she was going to ride her bike to a friend’s house just eight houses down from her own, and never made it. (An aside: I certainly couldn’t ride a bike at four. I wonder if by “bicycle” they actually mean a tricycle? Shrug.)
Statistically speaking, it’s likely that whoever took Nikki lived in the neighborhood and knew her, at least by sight. And there’s no evidence that she’s dead. It’s more likely than not that she was murdered, but with cases like Jaycee Dugard and Elizabeth Smart and Carlina White and of course the girls from Cleveland (and other people I’m not going to name because this list is getting too long), you have to wonder. At four, Nikki was just young enough that she could have been raised by another family and forgotten her own.
If Nikki Campbell is still out there, she’s twenty-six now.