Experienced teen backpacker never found – foul play suspected
Location: Hinsdale County, San Juan National Forest
Date Missing: 07-11-1984
Current Status: Unsolved
Christopher and his family were staying at their summer trailer home in Hinsdale County, Colorado in July 1984. The residence was located in a mobile home park on the edge of the San Juan National Forest, approximately 17 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs, Colorado.
Christopher visited a neighbor’s trailer on July 11, 1984 and spoke to him about a band camp he planned to attend later in the summer. He left the friend’s home at approximately 3:30 p.m. He disappeared when he went to go walk his dog. The dog came back home, but Christopher has never been seen again.
Authorities initially believed he had gone for a hike and gotten lost. They stated he is an excellent backpacker, but did not have the necessary supplies for an extended time in the forest. An extensive search of the surrounding area turned up no sign of him, and investigators concluded he was almost certainly not in the county.
A badly beaten teenager was found wandering around on a mountain road in Eagle County, Colorado six weeks after Christopher’s disappearance. He couldn’t say who he was and he wasn’t carrying any identification. He was taken to the hospital and fell into a coma, suffering from extensive brain damage.
The boy had severe facial injuries, but Christopher’s parents identified him as their son. Several days later, they began to have doubts about the identification and did a dental records comparison. The injured boy was not Christopher.
Foul play is now suspected in Christopher’s disappearance. His case remains unsolved. He was a resident of Andrews, Texas in 1984; Texas authorities are assisting with the investigation.