A community is in shock after a beloved attorney at Northwestern University was reported missing this week.
Lane Campbell, 50, was last seen on Feb. 19 in the 900 block of Belle Plaine Avenue in Chicago, according to police. The attorney, who works on research contracts at Northwestern, is described as a happy and laid back guy, and friends and family are shocked at his disappearance.
“He’s a very social guy,” Mark Sheppard, a longtime friend, said. “He loves music shows (and) bringing people together.”
Sheppard said that the last time he spoke to Campbell was simply about the parking issues caused by heavy snow in Chicago, a perfectly normal conversation at odds with his sudden disappearance.
“He was throwing a few funny quips, as he always does,” he said. “That’s the last time I communicated with him.”
Sheppard said the two went to law school together, and kept in touch regularly, so when he went missing on Friday, it came as a complete shock.
“It’s completely unprecedented for him to do something like this,” he said. “Sometimes people do this and show signs. This is completely out of the blue.”
Chicago police say that Campbell frequented south-suburban Oak Forest. Sheppard says that Campbell spent some time there last week, going to his girlfriend’s house on Walnut Road.
“She left him at her place. She had an appointment, and she expected to see him when she returned,” he said.
His sister says that he missed a weekly phone call with his father on Friday, something he never would do under normal circumstances.
“It was a punch in the gut right from the get go,” she said.
His family believes that he left his girlfriend’s place with a duffle bag on Friday morning, either leaving via ride-share or public transportation. That bag was found at his home in Chicago, along with his car, according to friends and family.
“We’re on day six. Day six tells me he didn’t go off somewhere to regroup,” Annie said. “It’s becoming worrisome.”
Police describe Campbell as a 50-year-old male, standing 6-feet-2 inches tall and weighing 240 pounds. He has blue eyes and brown hair.
Police believe he had his cellphone, wallet and house keys when he left his home.
The family says the cellphone hasn’t yielded any clues, and the family has hired an attorney and a private investigator in an effort to find him.
Sheppard says that the family hopes there’s no “foul play” involved in his disappearance.
“It’s so bizarre he would disappear like this,” he said. “None of us understand how this could happen.”
Anyone with information on Campbell’s whereabouts is encouraged to call Chicago police at 312-744-8266.