ROCK HILL — For the past several months, just every so often, Cora Campbell and Karen Murray-Thompson would cook and bake for each other. Murray-Thompson might make Campbells favorite--chicken tenders--while Campbell would whip up dessert.
Then, they would carry the meals over to each others houses and eat together, just like they would walk together to Glencairn Gardens, or like that one time they went to a neighborhood meeting together.
She was vibrant, Murray-Thompson said about Campbell, the neighbor that lived just across the street from Murray-Thompsons Arch Drive home. I miss her. I really miss her. I was hoping to invite her to Christmas dinner.
On Friday afternoon, Campbell was found dead in her home at the corner of South Jones Avenue and Arch Drive after her family called police, reporting that they hadnt heard from the 76-year-old woman since Monday, Rock Hill Police Lt. Brad Redfearn said.
Campbell, who was stabbed, was pronounced dead at the scene, said York County Coroner Sabrina Gast, who would not say where or how many times Campbell had been stabbed. Campbell is Rock Hills seventh homicide victim this year.
By Sunday, no arrests had been made, Redfearn said. He would not say if there were signs of a struggle or break-in at Campbells home.
I considered her as an aunt, Murray-Thompson said Sunday. I cant believe something has happened to her. She didnt have any enemies that I knew of.
But, she seemed like she was afraid of something.
Campbell and Murray-Thompson would often spend time together, partly because Campbell never liked to be alone, Murray-Thompson said. During a neighborhood meeting with police at Epworth United Methodist Church on Briarcliff Road, Murray-Thompson said Campbell asked a police officer to watch out for her.
Murray-Thompson wasnt sure what Campbell could have been afraid of, describing her friend as energetic and always on the go.
She motivated me, Murray-Thompson said. She was very independent.
She was a certified lay speaker, according to a list published by the United Methodist Churchs Rock Hill District.
She didnt bother anyone, said Tommy Jones, who lives across the street from Campbells home on South Jones Avenue. On Sunday, he stood in his front yard, recalling watching Campbell walk out and sit on her porch--usually only in the summertime.
For Jones, who recently lost his mother, learning of Campbells murder was infuriating. I dont care what color you are...God loves His kids, Williams said.
When Campbell and Murray-Thompson weren't swapping dinner entrees, Campbell received food from Meals-On-Wheels, said Mildred Murray, who has lived in the neighborhood for 20 years.
Murray, who is Murray-Thompsons mother, said Campbell recently lost her husband, James, who suffered from Alzheimers disease.
She was a very friendly neighbor, Murray said. Its senseless...very senseless.
She was sweet, she was kind; she liked to make quilts, Murray-Thompson remembered.
When James Campbell became ill, Murray-Thompsons son helped Cora Campbell maintain her yard by cutting her grass and raking her leaves. Hes taking her death very hard, his mother said.
Murray and Murray-Thompson, who live together, didnt notice Campbell missing because they were dealing with plumbing issues in their home, they said. It was a shock Friday afternoon to see police tape surround the house and officers cover the streets.
Im mad about this, Murray-Thompson said. I want to know why. Why would someone do something like this to her?
Added Murray: Why would someone do something like that to anyone?