On January 12, 1975, Caryn Campbell was with her husband and two step children at the Wildwood Inn in Aspen, Colorado. They were on vacation in the resort town, visiting from Kalamazoo, Michigan. After a pleasant dinner with friends, the family decided to spend some time in the lobby of the Inn. Caryn had been reading a magazine that she had left in her room, and after her husband said he wouldn’t retrieve it from the room for her, she decided to quickly go and get it.
Ted Bundy had killed at least 9 women by this time. He was known to be an avid skier, and had been living in Salt Lake City, Utah since September 1974. It isn’t clear exactly how he abducted Caryn Campbell, but it is clear that she never made it to her room to retrieve the magazine, as it was later found by her husband who went to look for her when she didn’t return. It’s possible that Ted Bundy was feigning an injured leg, as he would do 2 months later when abducting Julie Cunningham, and asked her for her help in carrying ski boots to his tan VW Beetle. When they got to the car, he may have struck her over the head and thrown her in the passenger side, which had no passenger side seat.
Though her family and police desperately searched for Caryn Campbell, answers wouldn’t come for over a month when her nude and violently beaten body was found just off of a dirt road not far from the resort where the family was staying.
In February of 1976, Ted Bundy stood trial in Utah for the attempted kidnapping of Carol DeRonch, whom he had attempted to abduct from a Salt Lake City area mall in 1974 but who had escaped from him. While he was incarcerated, Colorado authorities charged him for the murder of Caryn Campbell, and he was transferred to the Garfield County Jail in Colorado while he awaited trial. It was this at this trial where Ted Bundy made his first successful escape, jumping from a second story window of the Pitkin County Courthouse and evading authorities for over a week before being recaptured. While again awaiting trial in Aspen for Caryn Campbell’s murder, Bundy escaped a second time, this time from the Garfield County Jail where he was being held. He would not be apprehended again until after he murdered more young women.