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Three-month anniversary of Hassani Campbell disappearance marked by thin vigil crowd

on November 10, 2009

Three months ago on Tuesday, a search began for Fremont boy Hassani Campbell, after his foster parents say he went missing from a Rockridge shoe store.

Community activists marked the occasion at an evening vigil at College Avenue Presbyterian Church, where in front of television crews they called for renewed attention to the search for the boy, who would have celebrated his sixth birthday September 26.

The Oakland Police Department believes the boy was murdered.  In August they arrested his foster parents, Louis Ross and Jennifer Campbell, on suspicion of homicide, but the Alameda County District Attorney declined to press charges, and his whereabouts continue to stump investigators.

It wasn’t hard for the organizers of Tuesday’s vigil to demonstrate that their cause is losing some steam with the general public:  At the start of the vigil, television and print reporters outnumbered the crowd of four people.  Later in the prayer session led by church member Albert Hussian, one latecomer arrived, bringing the total to five people.

Organizer Sheri-Lyn Miller said the size of the crowd shows that people have begun to turn their attention to other matters.  That’s unfortunate but inevitable, she said, especially in the aftermath of high-profile incidents such as last week’s military base shooting at Fort Hood, Texas.

“Even though it’s very sparsely attended, we know peoples’ hearts are still with Hassani, wherever he may be,” Miller said.

Although fewer people may be attending the vigils, Miller said the search for Hassani has had some recent achievements.  A fundraiser held on November 1 at Garre Winery in Livermore brought in $1,000, and a reward fund for finding the boy has grown to $75,000, she said.

“It hasn’t gone unnoticed,” Miller said.  “We’re not going to stop until Hassani comes home.”

Alameda County Supervisor Gail Steele, who attended Tuesday’s vigil, said it is important for people to keep Hassani in their thoughts, even though the constant repetition of homicides in Oakland makes individual victims fade from the public consciousness.

“When it’s one by one, people forget,” Steele said.

Richmond resident Celina Carleton, a regular at past vigils who said she attended high school with Jennifer Campbell, said she was not discouraged by the scant attendance at Tuesday’s vigil.

“Unfortunately there’s only a few of us that have stuck around, but I’m not giving up,” Carleton said.

Oakland resident Gloria Coleman, 47, attended her first vigil for Hassani on Tuesday as a show of solidarity with the boy’s family.

“I just wanted to show some kind of support because I’m a mother and grandmother and I can feel their pain,” Coleman said.

Anyone with information that might help police find the boy is asked to call the Oakland Police Department at (510) 777-8572 or (510) 777-3211.


  1. […] People « Three-month anniversary of Hassani Campbell disappearance marked by thin vigil crowd […]

  2. Dale on November 14, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    I have had this young boy on my mind almost every day since he disappeared. I cannot get out of my mind that in addition to be a young child, he was also disabled. I am so very far away, but truly, this boy is so often in my thinking. I pray there is some resolution to this case. Thank you so much for keeping us informed. I think that the United Cerebal Palsy Association should get involved. Disabled people are victimized much more frequently than the general public.

  3. […] Hassani campbell By: S. Howard Bransford | November 10, 2009 – 10:27 pm> […]

  4. me on January 8, 2010 at 2:03 am

    It makes me so sad to search on Google for news about Hassani and find that 3 months after his disappearance he is all but forgotten in the press. If he was a little blonde-haired white child would this be the case? Seriously? Please don’t cry racist at me, I am blonde and white and this is a serious observation. This is a travesty of today’s mindset if all of us just forget about this innocent little boy.

  5. jsadie on March 4, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    I think about this little boy all the time. I was working in the area that he went missing from and was questioned by detectives and thought of any harm coming to this child really haunts me. I am so sad to see that there have been no developments in his case. I truly believe that who ever harmed this child will face God and get what they deserve. Until justice is served for Hassani he will remain in my prayers.

  6. jess on March 18, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Many people still care about this boy…even if the press doesn’t, and yes I’m white too. The last I heard was they split up after the mom had the baby. He is in Arizona and she is in LA. The parents also had a webpage set up to “find” hassani. But it’s a joke. There are no updates, or posts or anything about his disappearance. Looks like they stopped caring in September. And apparently some search volunteer tried to post missing flyers by hassani’s house and the father came out and told him to “get the hell out of here”.

  7. Jessica on June 16, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    I still look for Hassani and I agree. I live in Sacramento and there was not one news feed up here on him that I saw and we are close to the Bay Area. There were people from day 1 pushing the police to arrest the foster parents, too, instead of trying to find him. Even if, God forbid, he is not alive at least his family could put him to rest. It is a shame and I hope we find him. That’s how I saw this page again today……looking to see if he has been found.

  8. Aussie2020 on August 22, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Any updates? With Kyron Horman and Hassani Campbell both apparently DISAPPEARING off the face of the earth, maybe that is what actually happened. The Bible states that in the end times people will start to disappear. Well maybe that is just what happened to boh Kyron and Hassani. He, God, cares much more about handicapped children, and maybe He decided that it would be better for both to be with HIM. And those who are blaming the step Mum and foster parents are the REASON why God has taken both home. It is getting to the point where God will take his children Home to him, and the authorities and heathens will not have a Clue what is happening. But many others will. Please read the Bible and prepare yourself for the end. It is much closer than most people realize. Do not be one of the Millions, and perhaps Billions WHO ARE NOT PREPARED. Do not worry about either Kyron or Hassani, they are in God’s hands, and God takes care of and protects HIS own. Make sure you are one of HIS, because if you are not, God knows what will become of you, your family, friends, … If you have any doubts read what happened in the Balkans, in Tibet, Waco Texas, and in Tinamamen Square. And all of these were undertaken by the so-called People in Power, the Authorities!! God Bless, Protect and Keep you, and may you repent of your sins and turn back to the Light, which is His Son, Jesus Christ. Turn away from the Darkness, both within yourself and in the World. You salvation is to follow the Light.

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