Children are stolen away from their homes more often than you think.

The culprit in these abductions? More often than not, it's a parent or family member. And Texas leads the way in parental kidnappings. Most of the time, the children are found safe and sound, but there are the times they're not.

Like in the case of the oldest missing child case in Texas.

Two Children Missing Since 1958

Myrisha Faye Campbell and A.J. Campbell Jr. were last seen on September 6, 1958 in Goliad, Texas. The three-year-old girl and 11-month-old boy had been picked up for visitation with their father, A.J. Campbell Sr.

Their mother, Jewel Campbell, had recently left the 8-year-long abusive marriage and moved to Goliad, Texas where she found work as a teacher.

A.J. Campbell was granted visitation with the children on Saturdays strictly between the hours of 9am to 3pm, when he was to bring them back to Jewel's home. But on that September day in 1958, instead of bringing them back home, Campbell disappeared.

The Man Who Saw Them Last

Campbell, described as a "slender, smooth-talking World War II veteran" who lived and worked in Fort Worth, had not made the trip to Goliad by himself. An acquaintance by the name of William Randle Jr. had accompanied him. And Randle would be the last person to see Campbell Sr. and the children alive.

According to Randle, the group drove through the little towns of Cuero and Gonzalez, Texas. Several miles outside of Goliad, Campbell asked Randle to stop the car so he could visit a friend, Randle obliged. As Randle got out of the car, Campbell Sr. got in the car and drove off with the children in tow.

Campbell returned to get Randle about 30-40 minutes later, but the children were no longer with him.

Randle questioned Campbell Sr. on it, and A.J. Sr. said he'd gone to visit his brother-in-law, but left after they got in a fight. That's when he said he dropped the kids with another relative.

According to Randle, Campbell Sr. was nervous and agitated, and even asked his friend if he had any blood on him.

The two men continued on to San Antonio. There, Campbell borrowed Randle's car and agreed to meet his friend at the bus station at midnight so that he could return the car and take a bus back to Fort Worth. But hours later, as the clock struck midnight, A.J. Campbell never arrived.

Frustrated, Randle boarded the bus to Fort Worth, and upon arrival, he reported the car as stolen to police.

At Rest With The World

One day later, A.J. Campbell was found in his friend's car on a rural road near Austin, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot courtesy of a new 16-gauge shotgun.

It was soon discovered that hours before, Campbell had phoned a minister in Fort Worth, saying that his children were "at rest with the world", implying that he had killed them.

Unlike their father's body, the bodies of the children have never been found. And with no body, there is no certainty that they were indeed killed at the hands of their father.

Myrisha Campbell

Article from Sep 6, 1959 St. Joseph News-Press (St. Joseph, Missouri)

Uncertain Hope In An Ongoing Search

Jewel Campbell went on to remarry and had two more children. These children are active in the search to find their vanished siblings. According to some sources, Jewel's two younger children believe there's a chance A.J. Sr. actually gave them away or sold them to someone instead of killing them.

With the bodies of Myrisha and A.J. Jr. having never been found, despite multiple relentless searches of an expansive area, the siblings hold on to the hope they're alive. thus leading to the hope they're still alive.

The case is still open and active to this day.

you can find their official entries in the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children HERE.

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Gallery Credit: Sarah Clark

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