Part I: Christine Walters Missing Person

The is the first post in a two or three part series on a missing woman in Northern California.
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The Disappearance

On November 12, 2008, twenty-three year old Christine Lindsey Walters arrived unexpectedly on the doorstep of a rural home in Arcata, California.

The temperature that Wednesday was about 58 degrees with some light rain falling.

Despite the chilly weather, Ms. Walters was nude and covered in scratches. The likely result of her skin contacting briars as she ran through the woods.

Ms. Walters appeared scared, and after authorities arrived, she was transported to St. Joseph's Hospital in nearby Eureka.

Evidently, Christine would not disclose any details to police as to her previous whereabouts.

While at the hospital, the woman called her mother in Wisconsin--stating that she had been involved in a "ceremony", and believed that someone was following her.

She was treated medically, allegedly tested negative for drugs, and authorities, feeling they had no legal authority to detain her, allowed the hospital to release Ms. Walters.

Christine, with the help of her parents, rented a room at a local hotel. Once she was settled, her parents then began arranging for a flight back to her home in Wisconsin.

On November 14th, Christine's mother faxed her daughter identification papers--as Christine had stated that her ID had been lost.

At the copy center where Christine retrieved the paperwork, workers described her behavior as paranoid and added that she had tried to hide the documents.

At about 3:30 pm that same day, Christine left the copy center and has not been seen since.

From Wisconsin to Oregon to California

In May of 2008, Christine completed her spring semester at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where she was studying botany and ethnobotany.

That July, she bought a round-trip ticket to Portland, Oregon, to visit a friend for about three weeks:

...She was set to return to UW-Stevens Point in the fall. Before leaving Wisconsin, she and her mother decorated a bedroom in the house she was to share with friends in September.

But toward the end of the Portland trip, she called her parents and said she wanted to stay on the West Coast a little longer to travel to Northern California.

Friends and family who were regularly in touch with her in late summer and early fall said Walters fell in love with the area's natural beauty and a lifestyle that embraced it.

It fit with recent changes she had made: embracing natural foods and thrift store clothing, eschewing makeup and working on an organic farm in Stevens Point.

While still in Wisconsin, she taught Pilates and yoga in Deerfield and at Madison's Princeton Club, and had been offered a similar job in Stevens Point.

And it appears that in California, in addition to reveling in the landscape and summertime music festivals, she had connected with a spiritual group. She told a Stevens Point friend via a MySpace message that she had attended a shamanic gathering.

"She was getting back in touch with herself," said UW-Stevens Point student Toni Osiecki, whose final MySpace message from Walters came in early October. Osiecki said Walters apologized then for a lapse in messages, saying she had "been off the grid for a while."



"I can totally imagine her being completely content living day-to-day," Osiecki said...
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Why do authorities have more hope than not that Ms. Walters is still alive?

Why do I believe the parents of the missing woman have been criticized unfairly?

What seems odd to me about the case?

What did social networking sites reveal about the woman?

I'll discuss Ms. Walters' case more next week.

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The first photo was used from this site, and the second came from here.

20 comments:

Momma Fargo said...

Interesting. A lot not making sense here. And a lot of mystery.

Ann T. said...

Dear Slamdunk,
This is already riveting.

One thing I think I may not have said previously, I sense in these posts so much preparation and research off our map. Thank you very much for all the work!

Sincerely,
Ann T.

Eternally Distracted said...

Very mysterious... will come back for your updates .

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

A ceremony? This reminds me of those heat tent cult things in the nose this past fall. Can't wait to hear more about it...

Stephanie Faris said...

I think it's completely logical to think she may still be alive. It sounds to me like she's gotten mixed up in something that has taken over her life...maybe drugs?

Luisa Doraz said...

Assumptions are the worst. Facts work for me. Interesting story. Have a safe week! :)

T. Anne said...

Sounds like some psychiatric issues might be involved.

LadyFi said...

Such a sad mystery...

AB HOME Interiors said...

This all seems very strange. And why was she so disoriented if not on drugs? And why would she hide her papers. Very Strange, I hope that she finds peace and safety soon!

Portia said...

This is chilling. The ritual aspect of it makes me think of something related to the occult, a la Hostage of the Devil or something. This is one case I'm not going to be able to forget ...

 ALH said...

I'm interested to hear more about this strange story and disappearance. I think this is so far the most mysterious of the missing person's cases I've read on your blog.

Sounds like this girl may have gotten wrapped up in the wrong group of people perhaps? Or, maybe she decided to disappear?

Sue said...

Wow, this certainly raises a few flags and waves them in the wind, eh?

SLN said...

Do you do these series often? I mean is it an every Monday thing? What got you interested in this- maybe it's to personal a question- anyway, I think it is a bravo sort of idea and I applaud your intellect for thinking of it (yes, I did "say" intellect ... blush! Go ahead!)

J. J. in Phila said...

I will be looking at this one at well.

BobKat said...

Interesting...

A "shamanic gathering"?

What the heck did she get involved in... Wicca ceremony perhaps? She seems smart from what little you've said so far, with no indication she was into the occult. Plants, peace and love, probably. None of this makes sense as yet... but I'm listening?

Slamdunk said...

I appreciate the comments all.

@ Ann T.: Thanks for the kind words. Yes, the missing persons post can certainly eat away at blogging time.

@ Bobkat: The published reports have not been revealing on the details of her interest in these events. There is one article that addresses it and I am still digging though.

@ SLN: Thanks for the compliment. I try to feature one missing persons case per week and refer to it as my Missing Persons Monday post. I have always been interested in missing persons and crime, and am (still) try to finish a post that will hopefully provide more detail.

Miss Caitlin S. said...

gosh fascinating. I wonder...

Katherine said...

As her niece, who lived in the same household with her for her entire adolescence, I can't tell you how much I appreciate the work and thought people are still putting on her case. She is missed sorely every single moment of our days...her mother is heartbroken...thank you for your interest.

Katherine said...

I am Christine's niece, Katherine. Christine and I grew up in the same household from childhood until her disappearance, and were quite close. Sisters, in fact. I can't tell you how much it means to me to see that others are still showing interest in her case and putting thought into it. Everyday our hearts bleed for her, and we appreciate your interest as well.

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for the comment Katherine. Christine and your family are in my prayers.

I am willing to work with you in publicizing any parts of the case that the family would like getting more exposure. You are welcome to email me at:

theslamdunktrove@gmail.com .

--SD