It was a chilly December morning in Medford, Oregon when Christie Farni left her foster family’s home to walk to Jackson Elementary School.
She never arrived.
It had been a rough year for the brunette 6-year-old. She had lost her mother in a motorcycle accident in 1977. And several months later, authorities began investigating her father following allegations that he was physically abusing Christie, according to the Mail Tribune.
She and her brother were moved into foster care.
On the morning she disappeared, December 14, 1978, Christie had testified at a Grand Jury hearing against her father in connection with the allegations. She then returned to her foster family’s home before walking to her nearby school, according to local newspaper reports from the time.
It took several hours before anyone realized something was amiss. Christie didn’t return home from school, so her foster parent’s called authorities. It was learned she never actually made it to school.
No one had reportedly seen anything suspicious that day, and searches turned up no clues. Officials with the Medford Police Department have said they believe the time that passed between when Christie most likely vanished and when she was reported missing hindered the initial investigation.
Christie’s father and foster parents were questioned in connection with her disappearance, but none was named a suspect or person of interest.
In 1994, Chritie’s father died in a car accident, according to The Charley Project.
One theory is that some of Christie’s extended family members perhaps took her to a safer place because of the turmoil in her immediate family at the time, but no solid evidence has surfaced to support that. Others suggested Christie may have been the victim of some type of serial killer. Again, no evidence has surfaced to support that idea either.
In 2008, detectives with the Medford Police Department re-opened Christie’s case. Hers is the oldest case of a missing child in the county. Living family members have since been re-interviewed to try and uncover any relevant information that might have been missed all those years ago.
Despite the renewed efforts, Christie’s case remains unsolved.
If you have any information regarding Christie’s case, please call the Medford Police Department at (541) 774-2250.