Theodore Kampf identified

So it’s been in the news in several places: Theodore Frederick Kampf, a 46-year-old man who was last seen in Oaklyn, New Jersey in July 1981, has been identified.

I was just talking to David Mittelman, the Othram Inc. guy, and he says it was in part cause of Charley that Kampf was identified. He was identified through DNA, but I guess Kampf wouldn’t have even been on the list of possibles except his Charley Project page notes he was road-tripping to Canada and was supposed to cross the border on July 13.

His body was found in the Yukon, you see. Specifically, “in a wooded area near the North Fork Dam and Dempster Highway in Dawson City.” Which is about as far away as it is possible for him to be and still be on the same continent. I looked it up and Dawson City, Yukon Territory is a 63-hour drive from Oaklyn, New Jersey — and that’s only if you take a direct route (which Kampf didn’t, since he was last known to be in Washington State). The direct route is 6,382 kilometers, or almost 4,000 miles.

After forty years I think it’s unlikely his murder will ever be solved. The killer could even be dead by now. But at least he’s coming home.

Woman missing for over half a century is found alive

Lucy Johnson, who disappeared from Surrey, British Columbia all the way back in 1961, has been found alive. The police had thought her husband killed her — he didn’t report her disappearance for four years, which naturally looks suspicious — but it seems she took off on her own and started another family. She is 77 years old and lives up north in the Yukon now. That province borders Alaska, where Lucy was originally from.

Lucy Johnson’s husband died in the nineties, but she has two children and her daughter is still alive; I’m not sure about her son. From the article I can’t tell if they have reunited or not. If I were her children I would be both happy and angry. I don’t have a lot of respect for anybody, man or woman, who walks out on their kids without a word.

This case reminds me very much of Ragna Esther Gavin, another long-term missing and presumed woman who turned out to have simply walked out of her life. Yet another reminder that with the missing, you can never really give up hope.