February 4, 2007
Police see 'missing' Purdue student, say he's wellBy Darren Meritz / El Paso Times
Eric Michael Campbell, the Purdue University doctoral student whose whereabouts became unknown while he visited El Paso last month, met with police early Saturday and no longer is considered missing.
Campbell went to the Zaragoza Bridge about 2:30 a.m. to meet with detectives, who determined that he was in good physical health and had voluntarily gone missing. El Paso police spokesman Darrel Petry said that Campbell is believed to be staying for the time being in Ju?rez and that the case is now closed.
Mike Campbell, of Avilla, Ind., said his son Eric, a newly enrolled student and instructor in Purdue's Industrial Engineering Education Program, spoke with his parents Friday night.
He used to work in Ju?rez and has a girlfriend in Ju?rez. He has lots and lots of friends down in Ju?rez," Mike Campbell said Saturday. "We're waiting for him to call back and let us know what he's going to do."
Eric Campbell's whereabouts had become something of a mystery both in El Paso and in Indiana.
He originally flew to El Paso on Jan. 11 to attend a friend's wedding, and was scheduled to fly back to Indiana on Jan. 15, but he was not on his plane. His luggage, however, was checked and arrived in Indianapolis, police said.
Family members had been trying to contact Campbell on his cell phone, but Friday night they learned that it didn't work because he had sent the charger along with the luggage he checked on the flight to Indianapolis.
Thursday, Chihuahua State Police, with the assistance of El Paso officials, missed finding Campbell at a Ju?rez hotel.
He had checked out by the time authorities arrived but was identified by hotel staff based on a photograph.
The 33-year-old student didn't realize he had been reported missing or that a search had begun for his whereabouts, his father said.
He added that he didn't know whether his son intended to stay in Ju?rez or "if he's headed back up north."
Jeanne Norberg, a spokeswoman for Purdue University, said Campbell recently had a job with Indiana-based Cummins Inc., a multinational company that builds diesel engines at a plant in Ju?rez.
Before that, he received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Purdue.
&The El Paso Times so far has been unable to contact Campbell.
Darren Meritz may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 546-6127
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