Arrest in Hayward kidnapping gives authorities hope for Fairfield cold case

Local News

FAIRFIELD, Calif. (KTXL) — An arrest in a decades-old kidnapping case has given local authorities some hope that another unsolved case can find a resolution.

“A big part of me just goes, yes,” said retired Fairfield police investigative Sgt. Chuck Timm.

That was Sgt. Timm’s gut reaction when he learned Hayward police had arrested and charged a man Monday with murder in the 1988 kidnapping of Michaela Garecht. The 9-year-old was snatched outside of a neighborhood supermarket more than three decades ago.

“It’s another solved case where at least now parents can find out what happened,” Timm told FOX40. 

But for now, no one knows what happened to 4-year-old Amanda Nikki Campbell, who vanished outside of her Fairfield home while riding her bike. 

Next Tuesday marks 29 years since she disappeared.

“I’m always going to hold onto hope because she’s my little girl,” said Campbell’s mother, Anne Campbell.

Fairfield police are looking into whether there is a connection to the Garecht case. 

“That’s something that’s done continually on every case that detectives work on, especially something of this magnitude and priority when you’re talking about children that go missing and haven’t been seen,” said Fairfield Police Lt. Jausiah Jacobsen.

Timm, who retired 16 years ago, headed up the Investigations Division at the time Campbell disappeared. 

He said it’s the unsolved cases that stick with police. 

Monday’s arrest in the Garecht case gave Timm hope there can finally be closure for the family and officers.

“Sometimes it seems like a million years ago. And then in some respects, it seems like yesterday,” he said. “I can recall that day with clarity that, heck sometimes I can’t remember what I had for dinner two days ago, but you could remember something like that and it’ll never leave.”

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