Christina Whittaker has been missing since November 13th, 2009. The 21 year-old young woman lived in Hannibal, Missouri with her boyfriend and her infant daughter prior to vanishing. The night she was last seen, Christina went to a sports bar in Hannibal with a few friends. There, she became intoxicated and began harassing other bar patrons. Christina was eventually asked to leave, and was seen exiting the bar alone at 11:45pm.
Christina then wandered to two different nearby bars and asked numerous different people for a ride home. Some people she asked were acquaintances, and others were complete strangers. Nobody obliged Christina’s request, and she was last seen running away crying. Christina’s mother, Cindy Young, began to worry about her the following morning, after Christina’s boyfriend said that she had not come home the previous night. Shortly thereafter, Christina’s phone was found on the ground outside, several blocks away from the bar. After this discovery, Cindy reported her missing.
Christina’s family members do not believe that she left on her own accord. She has no history of such behavior, and she was dedicated to raising her daughter. Christina also had a court date scheduled for December 19th, 2009; she had been arrested for driving with a revoked license before her disappearance. She never showed up for that court date, and as a result Christina currently has a warrant out for her arrest.
Cindy believes that mental illness played a role in her daughter’s disappearance. She told reporters that Christina has bipolar disorder and also exhibits child-like behavior and naivety. Cindy also stated that Christina’s psychiatric medication made her more susceptible to manipulation. Cindy ultimately believes that Christina was kidnapped and forced into trafficking. There have reportedly been numerous sightings of Christina in Peoria, Illinois. Cindy has been there numerous times to look for Christina, but has not been able to locate her.
However, on the 8 year anniversary of Christina’s disappearance, Cindy stated that she is sure her daughter is alive. According to her, various people who spotted Christina in the Peoria area confirmed that Christina was being held against her will. Cindy told reporters, “[Christina] told different ones she is not allowed to see her family or come back to Hannibal. … At that time she was not free.” It is unclear how exactly Cindy got this information, or if the information is accurate. It is known that Cindy received this information during the first few months/years after Christina disappeared, because she stated that the more recent sightings of Christina have been at various homeless shelters in Peoria. Due to this, Cindy no longer believes that Christina is being controlled by the person who abducted her. She stated, “now I think she’s out there in survival mode. She has hung out with the homeless. She is just staying where she can.”
Still, Christina has not been officially located and investigators in Hannibal are still investigating the case. While Cindy said that the sightings of Christina in Peoria have been verified, investigators have not publicly confirmed this. If you have any information about Christina’s whereabouts, please contact the Hannibal Police Department at 573-221-0987.