THE frightening clues that helped the police identify The killer of murdered schoolgirl Danielle Jones has been revealed in a new documentary.
Reported Missing: The Murder of Danielle Jones tells the harrowing story of the teenager whose body has still not been found since her death in 2001.
On the morning of June 18, 2001, the 15-year-old went to school but never arrived because she was kidnapped by her 43-year-old uncle Stuart Campbell on the way to the bus stop in Essex.
Campbell, who was married to Danielle’s father’s sister, Debbie, was eventually convicted of the teenager’s murder and sentenced to life in prison in 2002.
He never revealed where Danielle’s body was, and the police had to solve her disappearance and murder using other evidence.
BLUE TRANSIT VAN
One of the clues the police used to find out what happened to her was the house-to-house interviews near her home.
They found that neighbors had seen a blue van on the property, described near “choke points where Danielle drove to school.”
A source said they saw someone Danielle matched talking to the driver of a blue van.
The only person who knew Danielle’s mother, Linda, and who owned a blue van at the time was her uncle.
She said he even picked the teenager up from the bus stop in the van.
CAMPBELL’S STRANGE BEHAVIOR
The relationship between Campbell and his niece is described by one of the investigators in the documentary as “extremely inappropriate.”
He had created a role for himself in Danielle’s teenage life as an intermediary between her and her parents and often spent time with her.
Her own friends later expressed concerns about the “friendship and closeness” between them.
Linda said her husband, Tony, called Campbell after Danielle’s disappearance but realized something was wrong.
He came home and told her, “Something’s wrong.”
When Tony looked through Campbell’s window, she saw camera equipment laid out on the carpet and later told Linda that he thought Campbell was home and decided not to open the door.
“When we finally caught him, his demeanor just wasn’t that of a concerned uncle,” she said, despite his obvious closeness to the teen.
Another investigator on the case described a second vehicle Campbell used, a small silver family car.
Police officers saw him acting strangely when he suddenly stopped on the road, got out and took photos of other cars that were similar in shape, style and color to his own.
“He didn’t behave the way a concerned uncle should and our suspicions only increased.”
Some shocking notes signed by her uncle were also discovered in Danielle’s pencil case.
One read: “Hello Princess. I hope you had a great holiday. Text me when you get back. Love, Stuart. x”
Another said: “Hello princess, in case you missed my last note I thought I’d throw in another one to let you know I miss your smile xx.”
An Essex police officer described Campbell’s bizarre and disturbing behavior during police questioning.
“I vividly remember Stuart Campbell sitting across from me.
“He couldn’t maintain any eye contact. He didn’t have any conversations.”
“He was so noncommittal and nonplussed throughout the entire event that he just didn’t care.
“During a 20-minute interview, he said ‘no comment’ at least 50 times.
“At no point did Stuart Campbell show the emotions of a concerned uncle. He showed the sense of self-preservation.”
“His lack of cooperation led to our full focus.”
Police also revealed that Campbell had gotten into trouble with police on more than one occasion before Danielle’s disappearance.
One investigator described a “previous conviction and offense for the 1989 kidnapping of a 14-year-old girl” that culminated in a conviction for a much lesser offense; taking a child without lawful permission.
The family apparently knew he had a previous criminal record, but did not know the full extent of it.
When they learned the details of Campbell’s troubling past, they were horrified.
“He had been committing serial crimes for at least 20 years, they were able to go back and identify about 30 victims.”
“We had allegations of indecent photography, indecent assault and rape,” an investigator revealed.
CCTV later showed that Campbell’s alleged alibi – that he had been shopping at a hardware store when Danielle disappeared – was false.
No vehicles matching the blue pickup truck or silver family car were seen in footage searched by police that pulled up to the store where he was said to be.
He also claimed to have called his wife on the way home to tell her he had been held up by traffic.
However, a telephone expert’s analysis showed he was probably speaking from somewhere near his home address and not on his way home from the store.
Horror finds in Campbell’s house
The convicted murderer was found to have approached teenage girls with business cards posing as a glamor photographer, collecting intimate images of children and keeping them in his home.
“The photos didn’t end up anywhere, they weren’t published.
“That was just him making fun and pretending to be a glamor photographer,” a police officer said.
“He absolutely had a type and Danielle was his type.”
While searching Campbell’s home, police found what they described as the “Danielle diary.”
“Various incidents involving the two have been recorded. There were a lot of details, almost an obsession.
“When a grown man like that starts writing a diary about his 15-year-old niece, all the interactions, that’s beyond strange.”
“It’s scary, it’s disturbing, it’s disturbing.”
A green holdall containing lingerie, handcuffs and condoms was also discovered at his home.
Police assumed he had used some of it to dress up young girls and sent it for DNA testing.
“MARKS” ON DANIELLE’S NECK
One of the entries in his diary mentioned a day after which the police questioned Danielle’s parents.
Linda recalled that Campbell had dropped Danielle off at home after she had been at his house when she ran straight upstairs to her room.
He told Linda that Danielle took a “weird turn,” passed out and wet herself.
Later, Linda saw some marks on her neck, which she suspected were from the necklace she was wearing.
Danielle apparently assumed she had fainted and was upset and embarrassed when her mother spoke to her.
One of the investigators said police believe Campbell tried to incapacitate and attack them that day after finding notes about chloroform in his diary and a statement from a neighbor.
The neighbor apparently overheard a disagreement between him and a young girl, who she believed was Danielle, in effect telling her she didn’t have to do anything she didn’t want to do.
A witness who lived in the area told police that she saw something disturbing on the morning of June 18th.
Read more on the Irish Sun
She saw a girl who fit Danielle’s description arguing with a man who she thought fit Campbell’s description.
Danielle then apparently said, “No, leave me alone, go away, you pervert.”