Roommate Arrested 7 Months After Woman’s Body Found Sealed in Lomita-Area Apartment Wall

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The roommate of a woman who went missing in 2009 was arrested this week on suspicion of killing her, about seven months after the victim's body was found sealed into the wall of a Lomita-area apartment.

An LASD flier issued in 2009 asked for help finding Raven Campbell.
An LASD flier issued in 2009 asked for help finding Raven Campbell.

Randolph Garbutt, 43, was arrested in the killing of Raven Joy Campbell, who died of blunt-force trauma to the head, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide Lt. Steve Jauch said at a Friday afternoon news conference. 

Campbell disappeared in 2009, when she was 31.

Her body was discovered July 2 inside an apartment in the 26800 block of Western Avenue, in the county’s Harbor Hills public housing complex.

She lived there with a longtime friend -- identified by Jauch as Nicole -- and Nicole's boyfriend. Garbutt also lived there.

“All four were friends,” Jauch said.

At the time her remains were found, family members told KTLA they had urged authorities to search for her. One relative told KTLA last summer that she had always suspected the female roommate, Nicole.

Raven Campbell is shown in a photo displayed at a family vigil on July 6, 2015. (Credit: KTLA)
Raven Campbell is shown in a photo displayed at a family vigil on July 6, 2015. (Credit: KTLA)

Jauch said she and the boyfriend had submitted to numerous interviews and no evidence led investigators to suspect their involvement.

Detectives were still working the case, he said.

Jauch would not describe the information that led detectives to suspect Garbutt. No weapon has been found, the lieutenant said.

"It took some time to find him. It led us to today and ultimately his arrest," Jauch said.

Garbutt was stopped Wednesday on a traffic warrant and then immediately arrested on suspicion of Campbell's killing.

Jauch said interviews, bank and phone records were checked by missing persons investigators, but the case went cold.

An anonymous tip in June led investigators to the apartment, where new occupants had long since moved in. A cadaver dog alerted to the remains.

Campbell was found behind a patched-up hole in the wall of a closet, Jauch said.

Garbutt was being held on $1 million bail. The case was set to be presented to the District Attorney's Office on Monday.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department homicide detectives and officials from the coroner's office remove human remains from an apartment in the Harbor Hills Housing Project in the Lomita area on July 2, 2015. (Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department homicide detectives and officials from the coroner's office remove human remains from an apartment in the Harbor Hills Housing Project in the Lomita area on July 2, 2015. (Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

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