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SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah woman whose mother disappeared 17 years ago has solved a different mystery. She tracked down a brother she's never met.
When Bobbi Ann Campbell mysteriously disappeared in 1994, she left a daughter searching for her mother. Campbell also left a son who never even knew she was missing.
"I grew up an only child, and now I have a brother," said Stephanie Cook.
Stephanie Cook and Thomas Linton are making up for lost time.
"We're just getting to know each other," Cook said. "What's your favorite color? What's your favorite food?"
Linton just finished his service with the Utah National Guard. He is in Alabama, so they have been talking on the phone and by text. The siblings will meet for the first time next month.
I grew up an only child, and now I have a brother.
"I've been trying to find my brother my whole life, and finally getting to meet him is really exciting," Cook said.
But the reunion is bittersweet.
Linton is the last connection Cook has to their mother, Bobbi Ann Campbell, who disappeared in 1994. Cook was only one when Campbell put her son up for adoption.
With the help of fate and the internet, Cook found a Deseret News article about her long-lost brother. In January, she called his adoptive parents, who live in Mapleton.
"I Googled 'Thomas, adopted, Salt Lake City,'" she said. "I knew his parents' names through the adoption papers I have and everything matched up."
Thomas was also curious about his birth parents. He left letters for his mother at the adoption agency.
"I was wondering why she never responded at all," he said.
He did not know Campbell was missing. Her disappearance is a mystery that police continue to investigate.
I feel like a piece of my missing puzzle is completed and now we just need one more.
"It was really emotional," Cook said. "I stuttered. I cried. It was really hard to tell them what happened."
"I was in shock," Linton added. "At first, I didn't know what to think, but I really want to help this investigation and find out what happened to my birth mom."
Campbell kept mementos of her son: baby clothes and pictures that his adoptive parents sent her. Stephanie held on to them, in hopes, one day, she would meet her baby brother.
"I don't feel alone anymore," she said. "I feel like a piece of my missing puzzle is completed and now we just need one more."
Thomas will fly to Utah next month to meet his sister before he goes active duty for the army. The two will go to Larkin Cemetery in Sandy March 9, where there is a memorial stone for their mother.
They will release balloons, something Stephanie has done in the past to raise awareness about her mother's disappearance.