For the past six years, 23-year-old Stephanie Cook has released balloons to remember her mother, who disappeared 18 years ago in Salt Lake County.
Usually, she attaches notes or letters to the balloons before sending them skyward. But this year was different.
Cook tied a photo of a sonogram to one of seven balloons released Thursday so that her mother, Bobbi Ann Campbell, would know she is going to be a grandma.
Cook last saw her mother in 1994. It was Dec. 27 and the then 24-year-old Campbell left her daughter at a friend's house while she went to pick up a paycheck. But instead of getting the check, police say, she vanished.
Cook hasn't seen Campbell since, but that hasn't stopped the Cottonwood Heights woman from searching and remembering her blond, blue-eyed mother. She has released balloons for her missing mom every year since she was 18, which was when her search began, she said. In the summer, Cook said she will sometimes pass out fliers to try to raise awareness about her mother's disappearance.
"If I were in her position, I wouldn't want anyone to give up one me," she said Thursday. "I wouldn't give up on her."
Police continue to search for answers in Campbell's disappearance. Salt Lake Unified Police Detective Todd Park who investigates cold cases said he still receives leads about the case, though none have shed light on what might have happened to Campbell.
Investigators have said that Campbell may have been spotted in a local park six months after her disappearance. In late 1995, her vehicle was discovered abandoned near the Jordan River. Campbell's makeup, purse, clothes and year-old Christmas presents reportedly were inside.
Park conceded that after 18 years, Campbell may no longer be alive. However, he praised Cook for her involvement, which ultimately generated many of the leads.
"In cases like this, yes, it does make a difference," Park said of Cook's work. "She's done a phenomenal job."
Park said he has roughly 55 open cold cases. At any given time he is working on two of them, but he always keeps Campbell's file on his desk.
Campbell is one of 74 missing Utahns, according to the Utah Missing Persons Clearinghouse.
Missing person case
Anyone with information regarding Bobbi Campbell is urged to call Detective Todd Park at 801-743-5850 or visit the Unified Police Department's cold-case website at bit.ly/VE0rdq.