• Candlelight vigil held for missing Mint Hill teen as search suspended

    By: Jeff Smith


    MINT HILL, N.C. - Dozens of Kayla Campbell's friends, neighbors, and classmates attended a candlelight vigil Tuesday night near the pond where police found her personal belongings.

    Friends and classmates shed tears and they prayed that God help police find out what happened to Campbell.

    Campbell disappeared Sunday, leaving her community in shock.

    "Everybody in Mint Hill is just heartbroken. We just want her to come home," said neighbor Terrie Atkinson.

    The FBI assisted Mint Hill police with the investigation Tuesday.  The search has since been suspended as police said they have run out of leads.

    Officers searched more than seven square miles of land around Campbell's neighborhood. Police focused much of their attention on a pond and the surrounding woods.

    Campbell's parents said police found her bike, her helmet and her cellphone near the water.

    "We're all coming together as a community, and there's just a lot of support," said high school classmate Grace Craft.

    Police said they focused their investigation on Campbell's cellphone -- looking at the cell towers the device pinged to retrace her path.

    Detectives also called the numbers Campbell most recently dialed for new clues.

    Her classmates at Independence High School said school isn't the same without her.

    "I miss her, a lot," said Craft, who also was a track and field teammate of Campbell's.  "You can just feel it in the classrooms, and it's just a different tone about the school. We all just really miss her."

    Campbell's mother said her daughter has battled depression in the past, and even disappeared for a few hours in September.  But she said her daughter's mental health is better, and she'd never disappear this long without telling someone.

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