This case is on the disappearance of a teenage girl from Texas. There are so many suspects and mysterious things about this case that make it so interesting and puzzling. I feel like this case should be in the media a lot more than it is which is why I will be sharing it on here.
Zoe Campos was from Lubbock, Texas. She was 18 years old when she disappeared on November 17, 2013. Zoe loved her family and animals very much. Her family says she has a really big heart.
On the day of her disappearance, Zoe was with her mom, older sister, and her sisters children. She left for a little bit to see a friend who just had a baby. There were other people there that Zoe did not know so she congratulated her friend and left. After she got back, Zoe and her sister went out to eat for dinner and their mother went to work at her night shift at the bar. She then went back with her sister to her apartment where they watched movies and eventually went to bed around 11 p.m. Zoe’s sister said she looked comfy on the couch and ready to fall asleep so she was assuming Zoe was going to go up to bed soon after her. This is the last time her family would see her.
Around 2:20 a.m. Zoe’s mother was clocking out of her work shift and she received a text message from Zoe asking if she needed to be picked up because her car was in the shop. Her mother of course said yes and waited for Zoe to come get her. After 10 or 20 minutes of waiting she started to get worried and call Zoe. The first call her phone rang normally but nobody picked up. The next time she tried to call, it went straight to voicemail. Her mom assumed Zoe had fallen asleep so she went to stay at a friends house for the night. The next morning, November 18, Zoe’s sister woke up and was surprised to find that Zoe was nowhere to be seen. After all she had assumed she was sleeping on the couch overnight. After discovering her car was gone as well, her sister then called their mother to see if she knew where Zoe was. They realized that neither of them knew where Zoe was so they got worried and called her a lot. The phone calls went straight to voicemail every time. This worried her family even more because, like most teenagers, Zoe was attached to her phone and always had a charger on her. It was very unusual for her phone to be dead this long.
At around 5 p.m. the family called the police and filed a missing person report. The family organized searches and put missing person flyers everywhere. They knew something was wrong because Zoe was not the type to run away or not call. The police tried to track her cell phone but it was either dead or turned off because nothing came up. Then, something crazy happened. Around 36 hours after Zoe went missing, Zoe’s aunt was driving home and saw a car pass by her that looked a lot like Zoe’s car. Her gut feeling told her that this could be her nieces car so she turned around and started to follow this car. She then called Zoe’s mother looking for any specific details about her car and was able to confirm it was indeed Zoe’s car by some damage it had on the bumper. So Zoe’s aunt was following whoever was driving Zoe’s car! What are the odds of that!? Her aunt felt relieved they had found Zoe until she pulled up next to the car. Instead of Zoe being the driver, it was a man with a gray hood covering his face. He seemed to be the only one in the car.
Panicked, Zoe’s aunt wanted to keep following this man so she called her son and told him to follow the car as well, telling him the directions. She didn’t want to put herself in a dangerous spot. Although being sneaky about following him, the mystery driver suddenly veered off the road and went down a small path. Obviously he discovered that something was up. She didn’t want to follow the man for her own safety so she kept driving until she met up with her son. They both went together down the path Zoe’s car went and found the car abandoned at a place called Driftwood Apartments. The family called the police who immediately came to search the vehicle and said the man driving the car must have gotten scared and abandoned the car and left. No one at the apartment complex knew anything about the car.
Inside the car, police found some alarming things. There was duct tape in the car, however Zoe’s family said this is not strange because she kept duct tape in her car to patch up or fix little things inside the car. They also found some of her clothes, a mens hooded jack (probably the one her aunt saw on the man driving the car), and her phone charger which was in the back seat. This again was alarming to Zoe’s family because she never left he phone charger. This new evidence made the police more worried too because they no longer saw her as a runaway. They looked into her phone records and found some important and confusing things. Her last text message was around 2 a.m. which was the one she sent to her mother offering to get her from work. The last place her phone recorded her at was within one mile of Lowry Field in Lubbock, Texas. This area was known for drugs and prostitution and Zoe’s family did not see any reason that Zoe would willingly go there.
Between 1 and 1:30 a.m. Zoe made a phone call to a man who was a family friend. He was around her fathers age. They spent around a half hour on the phone. Everyone thought this was very odd because Zoe of course knew the man but they never seemed to be close. Plus a 1 a.m. phone call for a half hour with her dad’s friend is pretty odd already. Police brought this man in for questioning where he claimed that he was very drunk that night and remembers nothing. Pretty suspicious…. The police then asked him to take a polygraph test which he accepted. He passed the test on every question accept the question where they asked if he knew where Zoe is. Him failing that question is pretty alarming, however as everyone knows polygraph tests are not always accurate and just being nervous can make someone fail a question. Zoe’s mother then confronts him and he answers with the same explanation that he was drunk and does not even remember speaking to Zoe.
Police then began questioning Zoe’s ex boyfriend of over two years. They figured since she had left her house in the middle of the night it was to see a friend or a boy and she did not have a boyfriend at the time. This boyfriend was very cooperative and tells the police officers that he had not seen or spoken with Zoe in a pretty long time. Police did not find anything suspicious about him so they did not consider him a suspect. Then they found out that Zoe had had another boyfriend after this one. They only dated for a short period of time and Zoe’s mom claims that Zoe hid this relationship from the family because he had a criminal record and a baby with another young woman and that is not the type of man her family wants her with. Eventually Zoe did tell her family about him though and they even met him. Both Zoe’s mother and sister say that they got bad feelings from this guy. He apparently left his girlfriend for Zoe but was really dating both of them behind each others backs. Zoe found out about this and got into a fight with him ending in a break up. The man then stayed with his other girlfriend. Good guy right? Police however ruled him out after this girlfriend of his claims he was with her at her house the whole night that Zoe disappeared. I don’t know about you, but I do not think that this girlfriend is a reliable witness. She stays with him after he was cheating on her and most likely doesn’t like Zoe! I believe she would cover for him.
The police then went to Zoe’s friends house who just had a baby. They questioned her and everyone else who was there the day that Zoe disappeared and did not find anything suspicious. That is until they started going through Zoe’s Facebook messages. They found messages from a young man who had been at her friends house that day. When interviewed he seemed normal, claiming he did remember her and stating the correct time that she had left the house. He never mentioned seeing her after that even though their Facebook conversation stated otherwise. This man was in fact the reason that Zoe left her house in the first place. Sometime around 11:30 p.m. he started messaging her to come over and smoke some weed with him. She said no at first because she had just met him, but after a little while she decided to go. After police questioned him with this new information, the boy claimed that he didn’t tell the police this information because he did not want to get in trouble for the weed. This seems like a bad excuse however for a teenager it does make some sense. After all she was just missing, maybe he did not think anything serious was happening and didn’t want to get in trouble.
He claims when Zoe got to his house they just talked on his front porch for a little. He says she never even came inside because he actually did not have any weed. We can only assume there was a different motive behind him wanting her to come over, which is sex. He then claimed that after a short amount of time Zoe left to go get some weed for them. Police found messages from him to Zoe a couple hours later asking her where she was at and if she was coming back. Is he really telling the truth or did he purposely send those messages to cover his tracks? Police then looked more into this man and found some alarming messages to many other woman that night. They say he was very sexually aggressive in these messages almost to the point of it being sexual harassment. So, it is pretty obvious what he wanted from Zoe that night. Another important thing to note is that is house is located in the mile radius where Zoe’s phone was last on.
One year later
About a year after Zoe disappeared, with not much evidence to go on, Zoe’s family hired a private investigator. A tip eventually came in that someone had seen Zoe late that night at a motel in the area. The motel was in that same mile radius where he phone was last recorded. The private investigator interviewed the woman who claims to have seen Zoe at the motel and she seemed to be pretty sure of what she saw. She claims Zoe was walking down some stairs and nothing seemed to be alarming.
The police however are pretty sure that the boy who she met with that night had something to do with her disappearance. They brought in dogs to search the house and ended up finding her scent all over the inside of the house and backyard. The dogs centered around a dumpster behind the mans house and followed the scent down the same path a dump truck would take which is obviously alarming. Also alarming was the fact that they found her scent in many places inside of the house. This man claimed that she had never come inside the house and they just stayed on the front porch. Now he has been caught in two lies.
Zoe’s car was sent to a forensic lab where they found a couple different unknown male DNA. The DNA didn’t match any yet in the database. Police took the mans DNA who had lied about her being in the house however that information has not been released yet.
This is where the information and clues end. Even after all of these years Zoe’s family never gives up hope and continues searching for their loved one. They want to keep Zoe’s story in the media and even had a billboard posted on the busiest street in the area with all of her information on it. There is also a cash reward for any information about her disappearance.
Most of the theories about what happened to Zoe center around the men that I mentioned earlier in this post. The older man who is friends with Zoe’s father and does not remember the half hour conversation they had at 1 a.m. The ex boyfriend who has a criminal past and was cheating on two women. Or, the young man she had just met who lied about seeing her later that night and about her going into his house. All of these guys sound pretty suspicious to me and would not surprise me at all if one of them had murdered her. Especially the one where they found her scent in the dumpster behind his home. He was obviously wanting sex, and maybe he did something to Zoe if she did not give that to him. Or did she really leave to go get weed and not come back? Maybe that is the reason she called her dads friend, to get weed, and he did something to her. It is impossible to know. But she did send that text to her mom around 2 a.m. so she was still alive well after she left the boys house and didn’t seem to have any intentions of coming back.
The next theory is what the family truly believes happened, that she is a victim of human trafficking. The area her car was found and the last area her cell phone was recored at was a pretty bad area known for this type of thing. Plus the tip about seeing her in a motel in this area makes it pretty possible that this is true. Maybe Zoe was getting weed from someone at the motel and someone saw the opportunity to take her and took it. Maybe she was meeting up with her dads friend after their long phone call there. This was in Texas which is obviously on the border to Mexico so she could have quickly been moved to slavery in Mexico which would make her pretty hard to find. Really, anything is possible.
All of the different suspects and possibilities make this case pretty hard to solve or even get a good theory of what happened. So many suspicious people are involved as well as all the mysterious things found in Zoe’s phone records. I hope this case will come to an end very soon and her family can get answers. I am really interested to hear what you think happened so leave a comment below!