A murder charge was filed Monday against a man accused of killing a 37-year-old woman whose remains were found behind a wall in a Lomita housing project apartment last summer, six years after she disappeared.
Randolph Garbutt, 43, is also facing an allegation that he used a hammer to kill Raven Campbell, who died of blunt force trauma to the head. He’s scheduled to be arraigned in a Torrance courtroom sometime this afternoon.
Campbell was reported missing from her residence in the 26800 block of Western Avenue in June 2009.
Garbutt lived in the apartment with Campbell and two other people during at least part of the time between December 2008, when Campbell moved in, and when she was reported missing, sheriff’s homicide Lt. Steve Jauch told City News Service.
Deputies arrested Garbutt in Los Angeles on Feb. 3, for an outstanding traffic-related warrant, Jauch said. He went to court on Thursday, was sentenced to time served on the traffic matter and was then arrested and booked in connection with Campbell’s homicide.
Her remains were found on July 2, 2015, in a void behind a closet wall in her apartment in the Harbor Hills Housing Project, after authorities received a tip. Cadaver dogs, which are trained to find bodies, alerted deputies to the human remains.
Relatives said Campbell lived in the unit with a high school friend, who moved out in 2010. Jauch, who identified the friend only as Nicole, said she lived at the apartment along with her boyfriend.
Jauch would not discuss a possible motive for the killing. He described the relationship between Garbutt and Campbell as “friendship.”
Her family members said last year that Campbell was mentally challenged and had a son.
Garbutt, who has a minor criminal record of traffic violations and some narcotics arrests, is facing up to life in prison if convicted.
—City News Service