Tragic End in Search for Missing Mint Hill Teen
MINT HILL, N.C. - Everyone hoped a Mint Hill pond at the center of the Kayla Campbell search was empty. But the 16-year-old's body was found around 12:15 AM Thursday. It took multiple law enforcement agencies ten hours to drain the water. Lt. John Rowell says, "This is definitely not the outcome we wanted." Mint Hill police are still investigating Campbell's death but sources tell us the case will most likely be ruled a suicide. We've also confirmed the FBI has closed its investigation.
Grief counselors are helping students at Independence High School. Campbell's impact at the school ran deep. "We had about 30 students to come forth and want to talk," says CMS spokesperson Tahira Stalberte.
While the search is over, the community support remains strong. Campbell family spokesperson Cindy Satink says, "To the volunteers that came out that didn't even know the Campbell family, were willing to help, it's been amazing."
Just before the sun went down, someone set up a memorial for Campbell near the pond where her body was found. From the looks of it, it was her classmates. There's a school notebook, a stuffed animal, a newspaper, flowers, a candle and a cross.
"It's very disturbing to think that, you know, a little girl was over there, you know, it's just so disturbing," says Mint Hill resident Wanda Belote. The mom of 4 has been following the search for Campbell since she disappeared Sunday. Belote says, "Anybody that has children can only imagine this is the worst thing ever."
Belote's thoughts are with the family and so are Mint Hill resident's Angely Marte's. She came to the pond to feel a connection with Kayla. Marte says, "Every time I walk through this street, I'll think about her."
Funeral arrangements have been finalized for Campbell. Visitation will be Saturday at 11 AM at Next Level Church on Stevens Mill Road in Matthews. Her funeral will be at 12 noon in the same location. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the church in Campbell's name.