Julia Campbell (journalist)

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Julia Campbell
Born(1967-01-25)January 25, 1967
DiedApril 8, 2007(2007-04-08) (aged 40)
OccupationPeace Corps volunteer; freelance journalist
Notable credit(s)
The New York Times, People
FamilyEd Morris (brother-in-law)

Julia Campbell (January 25, 1967 – April 8, 2007) was an American journalist. She disappeared on April 8, 2007 while working as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines and discovered on April 18 in a shallow grave where she had been buried after being murdered.[1]

The Philippine House of Representatives awarded her with its "Congressional Medal of Achievement" in June 2007.[2] Later, an eco-park in the Philippines was established as a memorial.[3]


Julia Campbell was the daughter of US Marine Lt. Col. William R. Campbell Jr and Linda Martin Campbell. She graduated with an English degree from James Madison University (Virginia Senate Joint Resolution, No. 149, 1988).[4]


She began her journalism career with The Connection, which is a newspaper in Virginia. From there she worked for the Greenwich Time in Connecticut, The Times Herald-Record in New York, and the St. Petersburg Times in Florida (Virginia Senate Joint Resolution, No. 149, 1988).[5] Prior to her Peace Corps stint, she worked as a journalist based in New York City, having worked for ABCNews.com and CourtTV [6] and had contributed as a freelancer to The New York Times[7][8][9] and People magazine, among others.[10] A notable event while working as a freelance reporter with the Times was when she was arrested while covering the funeral of Notorious B.I.G., a rapper. She was charged with disorderly conduct for verbally arguing with a police officer at the funeral. The charges were later dropped.[11] She covered Typhoon Durian, also known as Reming, from the Philippines.[12]

Campbell's career in journalism took a change, when she became a Peace Corps volunteer and went to the Philippines in 2005 until her murder in 2007.


On April 18, her body was found in a shallow grave near the village of Batad in Ifugao Province. A search party of Philippine army soldiers noticed her feet sticking out of a mound of fresh earth in a creek near the remote village.[10][13]

Juan Duntugan confessed to killing Campbell, claimed that Campbell's death was not premeditated. He stated that he had just finished having a fight with his neighbor when Campbell bumped into him, making him drop what he was carrying. In his anger, he hit Campbell with a rock.[14]

In a controversial statement made during the April 20, 2007 broadcast of a local news program, Philippine Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez stated that Campbell was partially to blame for her demise. He stated that the Peace Corps volunteer was "a little irresponsible" and that "if she was not alone, it would not have happened.". He also called Campbell "careless" in the same statement.[15][16]

Juan Duntugan, 27, was found guilty of murder ("treachery and use of superior strength" as 2 of the aggravating circumstances) and sentenced to 40 years imprisonment (reclusion perpetua) without parole. Campbell's elder sister and her American friends were present, when Judge Ester Piscoso-Flor on June 30, 2008, RTC, Ifugao, ordered Duntugan to pay Campbell's family P 39.67 million ($889,000) in damages, including her funeral expenses.[17][18]


On April 25, 2007, her remains were cremated in Manila. After her remains were cremated, a memorial service for her was held at the Roman Catholic church in Fairfax, Virginia. Her brother-in-law, Ed Morris, speaking on behalf of the family, said her greatest contribution was her Peace Corps service in the Philippines.[citation needed]

JCampbell Park[edit]

JCampbell Park, also known as Julia Campbell Agroforest Memorial Eco-Park, is an eco-park was established in June 2007 in Campbell's memory, to advance the causes she had advocated as a community volunteer. The 40-hectare ecology park is located in Barangay Pula, in the town of Asipulo, in the province of Ifugao, Philippines. Activities include camping, trekking and hiking aside from planting of fruit-bearing trees in the park. The land was donated by the family of Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Puguon Sr.[3]


  1. ^ "Filipino charged for murder of Peace Corps volunteer". Reuters. 2007-04-30. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
  2. ^ Rosario, Ben R (2007-04-28). "House to honor Campbell with Medal of Achievement – JdV". Manilla Bulletin. Retrieved 2013-02-11.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b Codamon, Dan B. "Campbell Memorial Park seen to boost ecotourism in Ifugao town". Philippine Mabuhay News. Archived from the original on 2013-04-13. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
  4. ^ "Julia Campbell ('89)" (blog). James Madison University - Be the Change. 2007-04-19. Retrieved 2013-02-12.
  5. ^ Magno, Alex T (2007-04-18). "Julia Campbell: A writer, adventurer till the end". GMA News TV. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
  6. ^ "Chat". Court TV Online. Archived from the original on 2007-06-30.
  7. ^ Campbell, Julia. "Convict Says DNA Shows His Innocence In '84 Killing." The New York Times, January 12, 1995.
  8. ^ Campbell, Julia. "Window on Corruption: The Case of a 48th Precinct Officer." The New York Times, March 31, 1995.
  9. ^ Campbell, Julia. "The Fifth Man: A special report.; After Decade, a Child Abuse Case Lives On." The New York Times, July 19, 1995.
  10. ^ a b "Body of missing Peace Corps worker found". The Associated Press. USA Today. April 18, 2007.
  11. ^ "Julia Campbell remembered in NYC". World - Americas. GMANews.TV. April 20, 2007. Archived from the original on April 28, 2007. Retrieved April 20, 2007.
  12. ^ Campbell, Julia (2006-12-10). "Heartbreak, laughter merge for typhoon survivors". CNN. Archived from the original on 2013-04-07. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
  13. ^ "Body of Missing Peace Corps Volunteer Julia Campbell Found in Philippines". World. FOXNEws.com. April 18, 2007. Retrieved April 20, 2007.
  14. ^ "Suspect in Peace Corps Death Confesses". World. heraldnews.com. April 27, 2007. Retrieved April 27, 2007.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "TV Patrol World". TV Patrol. Metro Manila. 2007-04-20. ABS-CBN. ABS-CBN Channel 2.
  16. ^ "Campbell partly to blame for own tragedy- DOJ". Nation. GMANews.TV. April 19, 2007. Retrieved April 20, 2007.
  17. ^ Merueñas, Mark; Almirol, Bernabe (2008-06-30). "Court convicts suspect in Julia Campbell killing". GMA News. Retrieved 2013-02-12.
  18. ^ "Life Sentence For Killer Of US Peace Corsp Volunteer Julia Campbell". Mindanao Examiner. 2008-06-30. Retrieved 2013-02-11.

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