Part IV: Christine Walters Missing Person

Unless new details become available about the case, this is my last planned post on Christine Walters.
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Case Summary

On November 12, 2008, twenty-three-year-old Christine Lindsey Walters was transported to a nearby hospital after being found nude and confused on the doorstep of a rural home in Arcata, California.

Evidently, Christine would not disclose any details to police as to her previous whereabouts, but did contact 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 released from the hospital.

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 retrieved some paperwork at a local copy center that her mother had faxed to her. Workers described her behavior as paranoid.

Christine left the copy center and has not been seen since.

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Last week, I made suggestions, based on the information available, regarding what aspects of the case would be worth additional study. Today, I'll speak on two theories used to explain Christine's disappearance.

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Two Indicators of a Voluntary Absence

1) What the Police Must Know

From the media reports, investigators have hinted that Christine chose to disappear. To support this, authorities offer her:

--interest in finding the meaning of life;

--new friends, association in fringe groups, and participation in "ceremonies;"

--travels from Wisconsin to Oregon to California; and,

--decreasing lack of contact with family and friends.

To refute any of the crime theories related to Christine's case, authorities simply say that no evidence exists that indicates Ms. Walters fell victim to a crime.

In other words, one can believe that the investigative folder on the case contains lots of information on why Ms. Walters would have left her life situation voluntarily.

2) The Tribe

Prior to disappearing, Christine was associating with persons who like to keep the specifics of their gatherings secret. It seems plausible that she could hide from the world in one of these groups, and not be noticed by anyone from the outside.

With that in mind, it is essential that as many people as possible who Christine associated with in California and Oregon be spoken to--as it could result in new leads.

What can be learned?

For instance, fourteen days after Christine's disappearance, a woman posted a message on a bulletin board site of the "Ayahuasca Tribe" trying to find information about Ms. Walters' whereabouts (for more information on Ayahuasca, go here). The woman provided her email address for direct responses.

The poster referred to Christine as a "star sister of our family," and included details of the case (name of the hotel, coffee shop involved, and that she had participated in a "gathering") that were likely obscure at the time--as widespread coverage of the disappearance came later.

The poster also added a photo of Christine, but no replies were made to either post (the original poster did make one comment, and I am guessing that it was to clarify information that she had received from readers through some other means).

Did this woman learn anything about Christine's disappearance from the "tribe?"

If so, it could mean that Christine is safe.

Sites like Tribe.net are important in understanding Christine's activities prior to vanishing as she had a profile there (under the name Airystar), and last updated her page about 16 days prior to disappearing.

Note: Ok, so I was curious and tried to contact the woman, but unfortunately I have not received a reply yet.

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Why Does the Voluntary Absence Not Quite Make Sense?

Her Mental State

I believe one of the most problematic issues with a "she walked away" theory is Christine's apparent mental condition prior to vanishing.

Several different witnesses (including her parents after speaking with her by phone) described Christine's behavior as paranoid. Paranoia is not what one would anticipate from someone who is making a life-changing decision to join an underground movement or fringe group.

In contrast, paranoid behavior is what I would expect to cause Christine, standing outside the copy shop, to accept a ride from someone she barely knew in order to avoid seeing persons that she feared were following her; hence, making a crime victim scenario a plausible alternative.

I did find it interesting on the Tribe.net board that a current discussion topic involves a male "shaman" or spiritual advisor who allegedly solicited/coerced sex from female gathering participants involved in the ceremonies--while these women were under the influence of the schedule narcotic.

I am sure the accused shaman is not the only one using such an approach.

This sounds like the type of situation that would cause a young woman, believing that her life was in jeopardy, to run naked through the woods.*

Perhaps, Christine's paranoia was not based on fiction.
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*Note: Though news sources stated that Christine was tested for drugs by the hospital and none were found, I was curious if the hallucinogenic chemicals of an ayahuasca concoction would even show-up on a standard test.  

Can any of the medical professionals shed some light on this issue?  Thanks. 

To view all posts in this series on Christine Walters Missing Person go here, and the photo was used from this site.

29 comments:

Momma Fargo said...

Almost seems a little like the tribe of the one famous Jim Jones of Jonestown. YIKES.

Audrey Allure said...

Wow, that's crazy!

slowvelder said...

It makes one wonder what we have not been told

J. J. in Phila said...

Could the effects of some drug create feelings of paranoia?

LadyFi said...

What a sad and scary story. I certainly hope that she is safe somewhere.

Slamdunk said...

@ JJ: Yes: http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/ayahuasca/ayahuasca_effects.shtml .

Crime writer David Lohr's article discusss the effects of the drugs in this article as well:
http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/police-baffled-by-disappearance-of-christine-lindsey-walters/19397492 .

Since it is generally held that she could have been paranoid after ingesting these chemicals, I wanted to show that the paranoia may not have been totally unwarranted.

Ann T. said...

Dear Slamdunk,
You are right. It's not paranoid if they're really out to get you.

And in cult thinking, that 'runaway' moment would be the last of the 'evil' leaving her body. She would now need to return, purified.

They would baby her for awhile, or otherwise feature her, and then she would be in.

This is scary too. Also the possibility that she met another type of criminal while on the lam is a good one. The same, 'rescue and gentling' thing would apply for prostitution, too--just add different drugs.

Your concern shines through.
Ann T.

malone8 said...

I wonder if her behavior was part of a "hazing" type ritual? I definitely feel a man is involved … voluntarily or otherwise.

Herding Cats said...

Wow. This is a fascinating and somewhat creepy case. I hope she's okay and alive and well.

Creepy Query Girl said...

Wow, this is a really spooky case. Underground cult maybe?

Creepy Query Girl said...

Wow, this is a really spooky case. Underground cult maybe?

T. Anne said...

Sounds stranger than fiction!

Expat From Hell said...

The only thing I could think of was, having visited Arcata many times during my CA years, that this is the center of the marijuana-growing community in NoCA. The fact that there are some slightly "off-center" folks running around the Humboldt County environs is somewhat of an understatement. EFH

Kimi said...

I wonder if Matlock could crack this case. Always learning something new from your posts. Thanks for sharing!

AB HOME Interiors said...

This story is very bizarre. I just don't believe a young 20 something would be paranoid and naked by choice. I also find it weird that after two days she completely vanishes. BUT why didn't her parents immediately fly out to her? You mentioned they faxed papers for a flight?? I guarantee you that when I was 20 had I wound up on a door step naked, my mother would have been on the next flight out, and I would not have been allowed to leave the hospital until she got there. The whole situation just doesnt add up!

BobKat said...

I'm not in my 20's anymore... point being made, I don't know what's changed between then and now. Not much perhaps.

JJ... obviously cannabis can sensitize and bring out a sense of paranoia... but it is also the most prioritized of testing, and she tested negative. From there, it's a matter of cost, what gets tested. Some natural or chem-based drugs are not routinely tested, would require more expense. Other drugs are easily tested for. Alcohol is not easily tested for after approx. 12 hours. Cannabis, up to 30 days.

My last comment I suggested real concern for her well-being. Based on Slam's current post on her, I'm inclined to believe is is making a go at being her own, albeit, with whats being called a "fringe group". Yes, Jonestown, and the deaths there are a reminder of how things bad things can become. But such "fringe groups" as suggested, have existed for centuries, many create a lot of good, or find success in their way. Many others eventually fade away, the Quakers for example, and some, there's tragedy and death. My suggestion: Hawthorne's, "The Maypole of Merry Mount" - 1837. It's based on a true story, and the plague marking the historic location of the Maypole of Merry Mount is in Alton, NH.

I hope Christine is okay... I admit it seems possible.

J. J. in Phila said...

What I was looking at was something that might have been ingested after Ms. Walters was checked.

This will surprise some of you, especially coming from someone my age, who attended Penn State and lives in Philadelphia, but I've never tried cannabis. I have heard about the paranoia effect, however.

I am wondering if she had an adverse reaction to something. The Lohr article kind of indicated that possibility.

WomanHonorThyself said...

thanks for making us aware Slam.and thanks again for your input at WHT!:) have a beautiful night:)

Slamdunk said...

Thanks all.

@ AB Home: From what I have read, the parents were not informed of the full situation with their daughter due to medical privacy laws. They likely knew little more than what their daughter told them on the phone and that she was being released from the hospital.

@ JJ: Ok, thanks for the clarification.

@ Expat: I have read that about Arcata as well. If she decided to go for a hike to clear her mind, then walking up on something is certainly a possibility.

@ BobKat: I appreciate your insight.

@ Malone8: Yeah, the procedure with this group is cloaked.

Kimi said...

Slam Dunks, has there ever been a case similar to Christine's? I checked her MySpace network and the last login was in February 2010. Based on the last login message, it sounds as if she's okay and is in a place where the Internet is accessible (if she's the one who logged in). I'm curious if there are any new clues. As always, thanks for sharing.

Slamdunk said...

@ Kimi: I appreciate your comment and the sleuthing. I have seen the FEB login of her MySpace account referenced a few times, and though authorities have not released specifics, it is assumed that the account was accessed by someone in her family or by law enforcement.

If so, I hope they logged-into her Facebook account as well since most folks use similar user name and password combos for personal accounts.

Christine's case does seem unique, and I can't remember one quite like it.

Thanks again for reading and thinking about her situation.

Kimi said...

I think it's too much reading of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys in my younger days :). My guess is someone must know or have seen something-usually it's someone Christine trusts. I do hope this mystery of this young lady is solved.

Cherry said...

New URL for Christine Walters with all media, blog, missing persons links.

Click Here

Slamdunk said...

@ Cherry: Thanks for the link. I added it to my homepage as well so it is more visible.

Anonymous said...

I am a licensed private investigator with 22 years of experience in civil litigation. Here are my comments:

1. Within the week prior to her disappearance, where had she been sleeping in the evenings? Inspect this location and vicinity.

2. Within the week prior to her disappearance, was she emotionally or romantically attached to anyone? Interview this person and associates.

3. She left her backpack and other personal items at Green Life Evolution. From the time she deposited those items at that location, where did she go next? Retrace her path, and inspect all natural hazards in those vicinities.

6. It seems apparent that she had a severe adverse drug reaction. She exhibited extreme generalized paranoia. If someone is merely in fear she generally will seek the protection of an authority and identify the person or persons who are threatening her. Because she was unable to articulate or identify any particular threat or source of danger, and only referred to an unspecified source, it seems that she was experiencing psychiatric distress.

4. It is possible that she did not want to return to Green Life Evolution to retrieve her possessions, for fear that the bad guys would harm her. It is also possible that she was suffering from symptoms of amnesia (triggered by drug use), and was not aware that she had left the items at that location. [She stated that she had lost all of her identification, when apparently her id was in her pack at the Green Life Evolution.]

5. At the time she picked up paperwork and departed from the copy shop, one expects she would have returned next to the Red Lion Inn (her then-current place of habitation). Employees reported that she acted as if she did not know where to go next. It is possible she had already forgotten that she had a room there, or had concluded that it was not safe to return to the Red Lion. I believe her drug experiences may have induced a psychiatric reaction, and that she may have suffered a dissociative break.

6. There is a small probability that she is alive and operating under a delusional psychiatric condition, afraid to contact family and friends. She may believe (in a paranoid state) that her family and friends are a part of the evil she fears.

7. She may have returned into nature (which she loved) to escape the evil she felt was pursuing her. Once there she may have gotten lost or met with some natural peril.

8. She may be a victim of foul play, either connected to one of the counter-cultural groups with which she was affiliated, or from a random person who encountered her in an extremely vulnerable state after she left the copy shop.

This case really needs to be profiled on America’s Most Wanted or 20/20, and the FBI needs take a more active role in the case. It is heartbreaking to see a young adult disappear without explanation, as if no one cares. I pray for her safe return.

Slamdunk said...

@ Anonymous on June 4, 2010: I appreciate your comprehensive comment--this type of insight can only help those who are trying to locate Christine.

On the part about the ID apparently being found in Christine's bag at the "coffee shop"--I was not aware of that and it does seem to indicate, as you state, a person who is having difficulty remembering things.

I am hopeful that authorities were able to identify and interview many of the folks that she associated with in the few weeks prior to her disappearance, but I understand how they may have met some resistance from such a closed society.

If you have a chance, would you send me an email at theslamdunktrove@gmail.com ? I have a question.

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever taken a look at aerial maps to get some idea of where she may have been coming from on the morning of Nov. 12? I don't know what the temperature outside was that morning, but I would assume no warmer than 50, possibly quite a bit colder. How far can someone get wearing no clothes in those kind of temperatures? There's no real probable cause to question those nearby residences legally, but why wouldn't someone want to cooperate to help find a missing woman?

Slamdunk said...

@ Anonymous (FEB 2011): Sorry that I never responded to your comment, but I am unsure what investigators have learned about exactly where she was on the morning of NOV 12. I believe they have spoken to persons she was with, but I am not certain how much info was gleaned from those discussions.

Anonymous said...

there is a new correlation between the location she went missing and a serial killer Israel Keyes who recently killed himself.

Please search on Christina Walters / Israel Keyes for more info - timeline, etc.

thanks and please keep the search aline.