Ventura County

Missing Ojai woman found and arrested

Ojai woman disappears without a trace

OJAI, Calif. - UPDATE 

The Ojai Police Department has confirmed that "Katie" has been found and was arrested for being under the influence of drugs and giving false information to police.

A statement by the Ventura County Sheriff's Office says the following:

On 04/24/2018, four days after the initial report, Ojai Police detectives, in conjunction with the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, Lodi Police Department, Grass Valley Police Department, and the Nevada City Police Department continued to work on the case and gathered new intelligence that escalated the voluntary missing adult to an “At Risk” missing adult.  

Once the missing adult became an “At Risk” missing adult, Ojai Station Detectives reached out to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Special Services Major Crimes Unit to assist.  The Special Services detectives joined efforts with the above listed agencies as well as our Ventura County Upper Ojai Search and Rescue Unit, Ventura Sheriff’s Aviation Unit and other Ventura County contract cities to help locate Kampf-Thibodeau.    

As new information continued to surface, multiple leads were followed and Ventura County Sheriff’s detectives coordinated systematic searches throughout the state.  As the City of Ojai was actively being searched, Sheriff’s detectives staged the Ventura County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit, search dogs and multiple Search and Rescue Units for a follow-up search the next day (04-25-2018).  

In the midst of searching for Kampf-Thibodeau, the Nevada City Police Department informed detectives that Kampf-Thibodeau had been arrested by their agency for being under the influence of drugs.  According to their agency’s records, Kampf-Thibodeau had been contacted on a couple occasions (over the last four days) but gave a false name each time she was contacted.
When Kampf-Thibodeau was booked she provided the fictitious name she had used during the previous contacts.  While in their custody, Kampf-Thibodeau’s fingerprints were entered into the system which revealed her true identity.  The Nevada City Police Department then immediately contacted Ventura County Sheriff’s detectives as they learned she had been reported missing.
As a public service announcement, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the community and all the law enforcement entities that helped resolve this case in a timely manner.  As an agency we were relieved Katherine Kampf-Thibodeau was located, even though the presence of narcotics played a troubling role in this incident.  We would like to remind community to just say, “No” to drugs and search for any resources near you if you feel you, or a loved one, may have a problem with drugs.    



The Ojai Police Department needs your help locating 28-year-old Katherine “Katie” Kampf-Thibodeau who was last seen by family and friends last Wednesday, April 18.

Thibodeau is originally from Texas but worked as a volunteer at the Krishnamurti Center in Ojai. When she didn’t show up for her last day of work or her going away party last Friday, her colleagues became worried.

"She left all of her stuff behind and so the next morning they contacted the police,” said Katie’s sister, Christia.

Christia says Katie told her she had plans to drive up to Northern California with a new friend, a man by the name of Anthony Williams.

“She said that he lives in his car and she had met him at a little café there in the area and they had been singing together and they had hit it off,” said Christia. 

Last Thursday, Ojai police found Katie’s cell phone at the Rainbow Bridge Market in Ojai and detectives say both Katie and Anthony do not have cell phones.

“That is what is making this case kind of difficult, so we’re going off of witnesses via family, via friends maybe blueprints that they are leaving different areas in northern California that we are trying to follow up on,” said Detective Joseph Precadio. “The reality is that she may be up there and she may not be.”

Christia says it’s not like her sister, Katie to disappear without contacting them.

“Losing her phone is one thing but then not showing up to, but then not contacting anyone…it’s just not like her to show up for commitments,” said Christia.

Detective Precadio says Katie and Anthony possibly traveled up north in his 2005 Mercedes Benz with the license plate GYW9498 or her 2012 Honda Civic with the plate number KPR9712.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Ojai Police Department.

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