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A blog that tries to inform others about at least a few of the hundreds, if not thousands, of missing children and adults in America. If you have a loved one missing, and would like me to add their story here, please contact me a.s.a.p.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Robert Louis Christian

http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/3569dmwi.html

Robert Louis Christian

Missing since September 16, 1977 from Madison, Wisconsin

Classification: Missing

Vital Statistics

    * Age at Time of Disappearance: 18 years old

    * Distinguishing Characteristics: White male. Brown hair. Glasses.

    * Dentals: Available.

Circumstances of Disappearance

Robert Christian went missing during a trip from Madison to Baraboo on September 16, 1977. On September 16, 1977, he had dinner with his parents, at their Madison home. After eating, he tossed a change of clothes and his bow hunting gear into the back of the Hornet station wagon at about 5:30 p.m. and headed to the bank. After picking up $25, he planned to drive to Baraboo and meet a friend, local resident Randy Griffith, for Saturday morning deer hunting in the Baraboo Bluffs. If they were not successful taking a deer, Robert planned to return to Madison that afternoon and attend a Wisconsin Badgers game.

He stopped at a nearby Walgreens and picked up a pack of small cigars. Robert probably drove to the Madison Beltline Highway, headed west to Highway 12 and took it north to the Baraboo area.

At about 9:30 p.m. Randy Griffith's mother, a longtime family friend, called to say Robert had not arrived in Baraboo. Robert's family began calling authorities in Dane, Sauk and Columbia counties to find out if Robert had been involved in a car wreck. They also called the Madison police, who eventually took a report on the disappearance and conducted an investigation.

At about 8 p.m. the Friday of the disappearance, a Mauston woman visiting a nun near the Durward's Glen retreat site encountered a car in her friend's driveway that matched the description of the Hornet and had the same license plate. The young male driver of the car matched Robert's description and told the woman something like "I'm looking for my friend. I'm supposed to meet my friend." The young man said he must be at the wrong place and then drove away to the east, away from the relay tower.

Robert's vehicle was later recovered parked in a driveway near the State Patrol relay antenna on Tower Road southeast of the city. The wheels, tires and the battery was gone.

The Sheriff's Department followed up on a tip and found four old tires and the hubcaps from the Hornet in a quarry just south of the Badger Army Ammunition Plant and north of Prairie du Sac. Apparently, somebody had switched the tires from the new car for worn-out tires on their vehicle and then dumped the hubcaps. It is unknown if the stripping of the car and Robert's disappearance are connected, or if somebody found the Hornet after he disappeared and took what they could.

The Sheriff's Department brought in a bloodhound that followed Robert's trail a short distance from where he car was found, then lost the scent at Tower Road. They also used a National Guard helicopter to search open fields in the area.

Information about Robert has been entered into the National Database of Missing Persons, and his dental records have been placed in the National Database for Human Identification.

At the time of disappearance Robert was a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was excited to begin studies leading to a degree in computer programing. He is described as a very reliable and honest person.

Investigators
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

Sauk County Sheriff's Department
608-356-4808
800-377-1195 



http://www.wiscnews.com/bnr/news/244630
30 years later, they cling to hope
 
Brian D. Bridgeford / News Republic



Reedsburg residents Lewis and Carolynn Christian are trying to draw attention to the disappearance of their son, Robert Lewis Christian, who went missing during a trip from Madison to Baraboo on Sept. 16, 1977, 30 years ago Sunday.

Lewis and his wife, Carolynn, both now of Reedsburg, never saw 18-year-old Robert Lewis Christian again. After decades of efforts to find him, they still do not know what swept him from their lives so suddenly.

Carolynn said she met her son for dinner the Friday before, Sept. 16, 1977, at their Madison home. After eating together, he tossed a change of clothes and his bow hunting gear into the back of her Hornet station wagon at about 5:30 p.m. and headed to the bank. After picking up $25, he planned to drive to Baraboo and meet a friend, local resident Randy Griffith, for Saturday morning deer hunting in the Baraboo Bluffs near where the car was found.

If they were not successful taking a deer, Robert planned to return to Madison that afternoon and attend a Wisconsin Badgers game, she said.

"It was the first game of the season," Carolynn said. "If they got a deer, he wouldn't be able to get back."

A short time after Robert left the house, Carolynn drove to the same bank and saw him at an intersection along Cottage Grove Road on Madison's east side. He waved cheerfully to her and headed on his way.

She says, with a hint of disapproval, they know he stopped at a nearby Walgreens and picked up a pack of small cigars. When the car was found, the remains of the pack were on the seat and ashes were in the ashtray.

They believe Robert probably drove to the Madison Beltline Highway, headed west to Highway 12 and took it north to the Baraboo area.

Troublesome call
Later that evening, the Christians got an indication there was a problem. At about 9:30 p.m. Randy Griffith's mother, a longtime family friend, called to say Robert had not arrived in Baraboo.

They began calling authorities in Dane, Sauk and Columbia counties to find out if Robert had been involved in a car wreck, Carolynn said.

"There were no reports of any accidents — that's the first I thought was an accident," she said.

They also called the Madison police, who put off beginning an investigation because he was over 18. They suggested that maybe he had gone to a party on campus instead, Carolynn recalls. They eventually took a report on the disappearance and conducted an investigation.

"If he didn't show up, something was wrong," she said. "He was a very reliable person, very honest.

"If he said he was going to be somewhere, he would be there. If he said he was going to do something, he would do it," Carolynn said.

On Saturday, they mostly stayed a round the house, making phone calls to check with the authorities and hoping for a call from Robert.

On Sunday morning, Lewis' brother came from Milwaukee to help search Robert's likely routes to Baraboo. He drove up Interstate 90/94, and Lewis followed Highway 12 to the Baraboo area.

Lewis said he was driving along Tower Road toward their favorite hunting area when his younger son, Mike, called out he thought he saw the Hornet wagon. It was parked in a driveway around the radio relay tower.

"I went in there, it was laying flat on the ground, the wheels and tires were gone, the battery was gone," he said.

Lewis ran over to a nearby friends' home and called the Sauk County Sheriff's Department. He kept people out of the area around the station wagon to preserve evidence such as tire tracks and recalls being annoyed when a deputy sheriff drove his squad car over potential evidence.
"Here comes the Sheriff's Department driving right up over everything," he said.

Ground search
On Monday, family members, Department of Natural Resources wardens and the Sheriff's Department cooperated in a ground search of the area. One concern was that Robert had been injured, perhaps while checking out a tree stand or something else, Lewis said.

But they found no evidence of him being injured at the tree stand or other signs of him.

Lewis is a Reedsburg native and said he has many friends in Baraboo. He and Robert had been to the Baraboo area many times to share hunting, fishing and camping. Robert was very familiar with the area of the bluffs where his car was found, he said.

Former Sauk County Sheriff Virgil Steinhorst was chief deputy when Robert disappeared. He said the department spend several weeks conducting searches of the bluffs area and following up tips as to where he might have gone.

Sheriff's Department officers "dug up a lot of hillside" around the area where Robert's car was found. They responded to reports of people finding disturbed earth that could be a burial site, but those turned out to be nothing.

A disappearance can be frustrating because sometimes investigators go back to the case again and again, only to have leads not pan out, he said.

"You hit a dead end on some of these, and then a few years later, something will pop up," Steinhorst said. "Then you follow that up, and you still don't come up with nothing."

Spotted that evening
Carolynn said at about 8 p.m. the Friday of the disappearance, a Mauston woman visiting a nun near the Durward's Glen retreat site encountered a car in her friend's driveway that matched the description of the Hornet and had the same license plate. The young male driver of the car matched Robert's description and told the woman something like "I'm looking for my friend. I'm supposed to meet my friend."

The young man said he must be at the wrong place and then drove away to the east, away from the relay tower.
"That's the last we know somebody had seen him," Carolynn said. "I'm confident that was Bob. She doesn't know if anybody else was in the car with him."

"It just doesn't make sense to me what the hell he would be doing up in that driveway," Lewis said.

The last specific information they have about their son's case was on the Thursday after his disappearance. The Sheriff's Department followed up on a tip and found four old tires and the hubcaps from Carolynn's Hornet in a quarry just south of the Badger Army Ammunition Plant and north of Prairie du Sac.

Apparently, somebody had switched the tires from her new car for worn-out tires on their vehicle and then dumped the hubcaps, Carolynn said. They do not know if the stripping of her car and Robert's disappearance are connected, or if somebody found the Hornet after he disappeared and took what they could.

The Sept. 21, 1977, News Republic reports the Sheriff's Department brought in a bloodhound that followed Robert's trail a short distance from where he car was found, then lost the scent at Tower Road. They also used a National Guard helicopter to search open fields in the area.

Over the years, Sauk County authorities have followed up on various tips about Robert's whereabouts. A March 8, 1978, copy of the News Republic features a story that Robert might have staged his disappearance and went to Canada.

That story turned out to be false, Carolynn said.

Search continues
Even 30 years later, the Sheriff's Department is still making efforts to find Robert Christian if they get a tip as to his fate, said Sheriff Randy Stammen in a statement e-mailed to the paper.

Law enforcement technology for finding missing people or identifying human remains has improved since the 1970s, he said. Information about Robert has been entered into the National Database of Missing Persons, and his dental records have been placed in the National Database for Human Identification.

In May, a Sauk County detective interviewed an individual in the state prison system whom they had a tip might know something about Robert Christian's disappearance, according to Stammen. But they received no new information as a result of that interview, he said.

"This office continues to investigate Mr. Christian's disappearance and will do so until all leads are exhausted or Mr. Christian's disappearance is fully explained," Stammen wrote.

The Christians say they have spoken with Stammen about their son's case and he tried to be helpful.

A psychic connection?
Carolynn said she has gone so far as to call psychics to see what they can tell her about Robert's disappearance.
One woman she spoke to two or three years after Robert disappeared described him driving up Highway 12 and meeting a man and woman in a bar near Sauk City. He reluctantly gives them a ride to a white cottage, possibly near South Shore Road at Devil's Lake State Park.

"She said something happened at the cottage," Carolynn described the psychic's report. "When they came out, he was between them and they pushed him into the car. The next thing I see is rocks and he got pushed down on rocks.

"I think something terrible has happened," she quoted the psychic.

Carolynn said she didn't contact the Sheriff's Department about the psychic's story because "I didn't want to seem like a crazy mom." She was unable to follow up further on that story.

She also acknowledges the psychic's vision conflicts with the report of the woman who apparently saw him in the driveway near Durward's Glen.

Project Jason does NOT recommend the use of psychics in missing persons cases. There is not a single proven case in which a missing person was found using paranormal means. Use of psychics wastes police and other resources, causes prejudice against the case, and emotional harm to the families. 
 
To understand this issue, please see: 
 
http://voice4themissing.blogspot.com/2006/03/30606-pmp-introduction-to-psychics-and.html

No reason to disappear
The Christians reject the idea that Robert would have wanted to disappear. He was a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was excited to begin studies leading to a degree in computer programing.

"I think he was thrilled to be able to go to the UW," she said. "I think he was generally happy in life."

A Madison Police Department detective following up on the case talked with Robert's teachers and friends, Carolynn said. "He said he hadn't had one thing bad to say about Bob."

They are also confident he was not involved in drugs. The Christians said they accept that one possibility is some sort of injury caused Robert to become confused and lose his way.

"I wish I could some up with something," Lewis said. "I thought I could come up with something, but I don't know."

Time has given some relief to the pain of losing Robert, Carolynn said. They have also faced another tragedy with a daughter, Catherine, being murdered years later.

"Time heals," Carolynn said. "You never forget, but time does heal.

"You don't want to lose hope," she said. "But, it's very slim we'll ever find out what happened."

"We'll never forget him," Lewis said. "We'll never forget."

The Christians are calling attention to Robert's case at the 30-year anniversary in the hope they can stir up some kind of information about what happened to him Sept. 16, 1977, the day he went missing.





http://www.wiscnews.com/pdr/news/244640

Family keeps hope alive of finding son who disappeared 30 years ago on way to Baraboo
 
Brian D. Bridgeford / Capital Newspapers

BARABOO — Lewis Christian knew something was "wrong, deadly wrong" one Sunday morning nearly 30 years ago when he saw the car his son had driven to Baraboo stripped of its tires, wheels and license plates and sitting on the ground near the State Patrol relay antenna on Tower Road southeast of the city.

Lewis and Carolynn Christian of Reedsburg, after decades of efforts to find 18-year-old Robert Lewis Christian, still do not know what took him from their lives so suddenly.

Carolynn said she met her son for dinner the Friday before, Sept. 16, 1977, at their home in Madison, where they lived at the time. After eating together, he tossed a change of clothes and his bow-hunting gear into the back of her Hornet station wagon about 5:30 p.m. and headed to the bank. 

After picking up $25, he planned to drive to Baraboo and meet a friend, local resident Randy Griffith, for Saturday morning deer hunting in the Baraboo Bluffs near where the car was found.

If they were not successful taking a deer, Robert planned to return to Madison that afternoon and attend a Wisconsin Badgers football game, she said.

"It was the first game of the season," Carolynn said. "If they got a deer, he wouldn't be able to get back."

A short time after Robert left the house, Carolynn drove to the same bank and encountered him at an intersection along Cottage Grove Road on Madison's east side. He waved cheerfully to her and headed on his way.

They believe Robert probably drove to the Madison Beltline, headed west to Highway 12 and took it north to the Baraboo area.

Troublesome call

It was later that evening the Christians got an indication there was a problem. About 9:30 p.m., Randy Griffith's mother, a longtime family friend, called with the news Robert had not arrived in Baraboo.

They began calling authorities in Dane, Sauk and Columbia counties trying to find out if Robert had been involved in a car wreck, Carolynn said. There were no reports of any accidents.

They also called the Madison police, who put off beginning an investigation because he was older than 18 and suggested maybe he went to a party on campus instead, Carolynn recalls. They eventually took a report on the disappearance and conducted an investigation.

"If he said he was going to be somewhere, he would be there. If he said he was going to do something, he would do it," Carolynn said. 

Saturday, they mostly stayed around the house, making phone calls to check with the authorities and hoping for a call from Robert.

Sunday morning, Lewis' brother came from Milwaukee to help search Robert's likely routes to Baraboo. 

He drove up Interstate 90/94 and Lewis followed Highway 12 to the Baraboo area.

Lewis said he was driving along Tower Road toward their favorite hunting area when his younger son, Mike, called out that he thought he saw the Hornet wagon. It was parked in a driveway around the radio relay tower.

"I went in there. It was laying flat on the ground. The wheels and tires were gone. The battery was gone," he said.

Lewis ran over to a nearby friends' home and called the Sauk County Sheriff's Department. 

He kept people out of the area around the station wagon to preserve evidence such as tire tracks and recalls being annoyed when a deputy sheriff drove his squad car over potential evidence.

Ground search

On Monday, family members, Department of Natural Resources wardens and the sheriff's department cooperated in a ground search of the area. One concern was that Robert had been injured, perhaps while checking out a tree stand, Lewis said.

However, they found no evidence of him at all.

Lewis is a Reedsburg native and said he has many friends in Baraboo. He and Robert had been to the Baraboo area many times to go hunting, fishing and camping. 

Robert was very familiar with the area of the bluffs where his car was found, he said.

The sheriff's department spent several weeks conducting searches of the bluffs area and following up on tips as to where he might have gone. Nothing was found.

Spotted that evening

Carolynn said about 8 p.m. the Friday of the disappearance, a Mauston woman visiting a nun near the Durward's Glen retreat site encountered a car in her friend's driveway that matched the description of the Hornet and had the same license plate. 

The young male driver of the car matched Robert's description and told the woman something like, "I'm looking for my friend, I'm supposed to meet my friend."

The young man said he must be at the wrong place and then drove away to the east, opposite the relay tower location.

"That's the last we know somebody had seen him," Carolynn said. "I'm confident that was Bob. She doesn't know if anybody else was in the car with him."

"It just doesn't make sense to me what the hell he would be doing up in that driveway," Lewis said.

The last specific information they have about their son's case was on the Thursday after his disappearance. The sheriff's department followed up on a tip and found four old tires and the hubcaps from the Hornet in a quarry just south of the Badger Army Ammunition Plant and north of Prairie du Sac.

They do not know if the stripping of her car and Robert's disappearance are connected, or if somebody found the Hornet after he disappeared and took what they could.

The Sept. 21, 1977, Baraboo News Republic reports the sheriff's department brought in a bloodhound that followed Robert's trail a short distance from where he car was found, then lost him at Tower Road. They also used a National Guard helicopter to search open fields in the area.

Over the years, Sauk County authorities have followed up on various tips on where Robert might be. A March 8, 1978, copy of the News Republic features a story that Robert might have staged his disappearance and went to Canada.

That story turned out to be false, Carolynn said. 

Search continues

Even 30 years later, the Sheriff's Department is making efforts to find Robert Christian if they get a tip as to his fate, said Sheriff Randy Stammen in a statement e-mailed to the News Republic .

Law enforcement technology for finding missing people or identifying human remains has improved since the 1970s, he said. Information about Robert has been entered into the National Data Base of Missing Persons, and his dental records have been placed in the National Data Base for Human Identification.

No reason to disappear

The Christians reject the idea that there is any reason Robert wanted to disappear. He was a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was excited to begin studies leading to a degree in computer programming.

"I think he was thrilled to be able to go to the UW," she said. "I think he was generally happy in life."

A Madison Police Department detective following up on the case talked with Robert's teachers and friends, Carolynn said. "He said he hadn't had one thing bad to say about Bob."

They are also confident he was not involved in drugs. The Christians said they accept one possibility is some sort of injury caused Robert to become confused and lose his way. 

Time has given some relief to the pain of losing Robert, Carolynn said. They have also faced another tragedy with a daughter, Catherine, being murdered years later.

"Time heals," Carolynn said, "You never forget, but time does heal.

"You don't want to lose hope," she said. "But, it's very slim we'll ever find out what happened."

"We'll never forget him," Lewis said. "We'll never forget."

To report information

Lewis and Carolynn Christian ask people with information about Robert Lewis Christian's disappearance to contact the Sauk County Sheriff's Department at the non-emergency dispatch center line, (608) 356-4808.




"It would be a relief to find out what happened," Carolynn said. "Or even to find out somebody took the tires and didn't have something to do with Bob's disappearance."

Lewis and Carolynn Christian ask people with information about Robert Lewis Christian's disappearance to contact the Sauk County Sheriff's Department at the non-emergency dispatch center line at (608) 356-4808, or a toll-free administrative line at (800) 377-1195, dial "0."

Lewis Christian knew something was "wrong, deadly wrong" one Sunday morning 30 years ago when he saw the car his son had driven to Baraboo stripped of its tires, wheels and license plates and sitting on the ground near the State Patrol relay antenna on Tower Road southeast of the city.








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In many cases, these blogs are obtained from other sources on the web. Source information will be added whenever possible. My apologies for those already up that may not be sourced, or credit given. This will be fixed.