Prosecutors: Insufficient Evidence to Charge Foster Father in Hasanni Campbell Case

Bay City News
Monday August 31, 2009 - 02:59:00 PM

An Alameda County assistant district attorney said today that there is insufficient evidence to file murder charges against the foster father of missing 5-year-old boy Hasanni Campbell. 

However, Alameda County Assistant District Attorney Tom Rogers said the investigation into the disappearance of Hasanni is continuing. Hasanni, who has cerebral palsy, was reported missing on Aug. 10. 

The decision not to file charges against 38-year-old Louis Ross follows a decision on Monday not to charge 30-year-old Jennifer Campbell, who is Hasanni’s aunt and foster mother, with being an accessory to murder. 

Hasanni was reported missing from the parking lot of the Shuz of Rockridge shoe store in the 6000 block of College Avenue in Oakland about 4:15 p.m. on Aug. 10. Jennifer Campbell works at the store. 

Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said Friday that police are no longer considering the disappearance a missing-persons case and instead are investigating it as a homicide.  

Oakland police plan to release a statement later today about the investigation. 

Thomason said in a statement Monday that the department “has been diligently investigating the Hasanni Campbell homicide case day and night since his disappearance.” 

He said the case is “very complex” but declined to provide details, saying that might compromise the investigation. 

Oakland attorney John Burris, who has consulted with Ross and Jennifer Campbell, said he thinks Rogers’ decision not to file any charges against Ross at this time is “terrific” and appropriate because he thinks there isn’t any evidence against Ross that would support a criminal conviction. 

Campbell, who is the sister of Hasanni’s mother, was arrested about 1:50 p.m. Friday at the Union City BART station. She was released from custody Monday afternoon. 

Ross was arrested at about 2:45 p.m. Friday at the home at 5997 Roxie Terrace in Fremont where he and Campbell lived with Hasanni and another child. 

Burris said Ross probably won’t be released from custody until later today. He said authorities transported him from Alameda County’s Santa Rita Jail in Dublin to the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland this morning where he would have been arraigned had charges been filed against him. 

Burris said he believes Oakland police seem to suspect Ross hasn’t told them the truth but he said there isn’t evidence to corroborate those suspicions. 

“There aren’t any independent witnesses and there is no physical evidence or DNA” pointing to Ross’s guilt, Burris said. 

“There’s nothing that tied him to his involvement in the disappearance of Hasanni,” he said. 

Burris said he thinks the decision by Oakland police to arrest Ross and Campbell “was wrong-headed” and “unfair to these two people.” 

He said he thinks the arrests were “a tactic to see if they would turn against each other but it was unsuccessful.” 

Burris said, “I hope the attention now turns to trying to find Hasanni and the people who possibly kidnapped him.” 

He said there is no proof that Hasanni is no longer alive.