On July 6, 1981, 46-year-old Theodore Frederick Kampf left his home in Oaklyn, New Jersey to head out for some vacation time in Canada. According to The Charley Project, Kampf called his family along the way, his last phone call coming on July 13 when he called to say he was in Mount Vernon, Washington, and about to cross into Canada. After that, he was never heard from again.
After Kampf’s disappearance, someone stole his truck and cashed one of the traveler’s checks he had bought for the trip at a British Columbia bank. According to NamUs, a man pretending to be Kampf was involved in a fender bender in Kampf’s truck on July 27, 1981. Then, in August 1981, more of the traveler’s checks were cashed in North and South Dakota by someone other than Kampf. The 1980 brick/brown Chevrolet pickup truck with a hard-shell camper he had been driving was found by hunters in Montana later that year. It was recovered from a ravine off Flint Creek Pass in Granite County, Montana on October 29, 1981.
In reality, Kampf wasn’t missing at all. His remains just remained unidentified for decades. It wasn’t until November 2021, that remains recovered in 1983 from Dawson City in the Canadian province of the Yukon were determined to be those of Kampf. According to the RCMP, the pathologist who examined Kampf’s remains concluded that the death was a homicide. This was in line with Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Investigator Cst. Michale Simpson’s assessment of the crime scene. In an email written to MTN news, she revealed that the remains had been retrieved from a grave in “an apparent attempt to conceal” them.
KTVH reported that the RCMP and Texas-based Othram, Inc. were able to link DNA from the remains recovered in 1983 to Kampf with the aid of the University of North Texas Health Science Center and National DNA Data Bank.
The RCMP has determined that after Kampf was killed in Dawson City in July 1981, his truck was driven back to the United States, traveling through Idaho, South Dakota, North Dakota, and eventually abandoned in Granite County. They believe that this person has a connection to the mining operations that were taking place in that area of Montana in the early 80’s.
According to KTVH, the RCMP is interested in talking with anyone who might have been located in Granite County or other parts of Montana and traveled to the mine in the Yukon or up towards Alaska as a person of interest. They are asking the public for help in bringing this killer to justice.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Yukon RCMP Historical Case Unit at 867-667-5500 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.