Imagine your daughter or mom there one day, and the next gone. That’s been the reality for one Hannibal family for almost ten years. Hannibal police said they’re still looking for clues as to where she went.
In the 200th block of 7th street near 7th and Church is where Hannibal police said they found the last piece of reliable evidence in the case of 21-year-old Christina Whittaker was found, just steps away from where she was last seen at sportsman’s bar just down the street on the night of November 13th, 2009.
“She loved her family. Her baby was her life– very dedicated to her family, all of her family,” said Christina Whittaker’s mother Cindy Young.
Young said Christina left behind a seven month old daughter, now ten, and was the type of person who always called her to check in.
“They called me and said we got her phone and I just knew, I got a sick feeling and I knew something was wrong,” said Young recounting the day after she went missing.
The Hannibal Police Department continues to investigate.
“We have done a lot in those ten years– we have interviewed sometimes on multiple occasions, over 200 people, we have worked with about 45 different agencies, we have had leads coast-to-coast,” said Lt. Jennifer Grote with the Hannibal Police Department.
Lt. Grote said after an initial investigation, they followed every lead they got, even questionable ones, but they couldn’t find more hard evidence than accounts from the night she went missing.
According to Police, Christina had been seen at Rookies, then later at Sportsman’s, where she was seen drinking heavily, even ending up being kicked out of the bar. When she left, she was just steps away from where the last piece of hard evidence the police say they have, her phone, was found in the 200 block of 7th street.
Hannibal Police Assistant Chief Lt. John Zerbonia said they even called in the FBI to review the case.
“After they reviewed the case they thought that we had done everything possible and at times they said that we had done more than maybe they would’ve done themselves,” said Lt. Zerbonia.
For Young, she said she’s still working with private investigators, and believes Christina was a victim of human trafficking, something Hannibal police said they looked into as well.
“I just always, I believe we’re going to get a miracle, I always felt it, I always believe that and I still believe it, and I don’t believe she’s gone, the only way I would believe that is if they showed me a body,” said Young, “I haven’t seen a body so my daughter is alive.”
Police said they’re still looking for any information that could lead them in the right direction, and they hope the 10th anniversary renews interest in the case. They said if you know anything to contact them, even if you want to stay anonymous, at (573) 221-0987 or online here.
Hannibal Police said this case is one-of-a-kind in their files, as they don’t have any other missing person cases of this scope that are still an open investigation. They said they plan to keep the investigation open until they find Christina.