Body found in Lomita apartment wall identified as woman reported missing six years ago

A body found behind a wall in a Lomita apartment last week was identified as a woman who went missing six years ago, Los Angeles County coroner's investigators confirmed Thursday.

Raven Campbell, 37, disappeared in July 2009.

Lt. Steve Jauch of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said she was last seen in the apartment of the Harbor Hills Housing Project in the 3800 block of Western Avenue, where she lived.

Working on a tip, investigators descended on the apartment July 2 with two cadaver dogs.

It didn't take long for Malaikah Manasseh to suspect the body belonged to her sister, who vanished without taking the purse that was regularly strapped against her chest.

For years, her disappearance remained a mystery.

A family that had moved into Campbell’s old apartment and was living there when detectives appeared last week was relocated.

Two weeks ago, Campbell’s sister received a call from someone saying, “They think her body is in [a] downstairs apartment in the wall of the closet behind the stairs,” said her cousin Linda Campbellhumphrey.

Family members reported the call to the sheriff’s department. A detective went out to the apartment building and spoke to the family living there.

Days later, investigators received permission from the county housing authority to go into the apartment and knock down a wall.

Campbell was sweet but was someone who could be taken advantage of because of her mental disability, her sister said.

Campbell lived in a group facility then moved into the Lomita apartment with a high school friend, her sister said.

Sheriff's investigators are investigating the circumstances surrounding her death.

Times staff writer Sarah Parvini contributed to this article.

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