Trafficked – The Christina Whitaker Disappearance

Photos used with family permission

Stumbling along through the night, suffering a panic attack, the 21-year-old redhead couldn’t find a ride home. She eventually found one, but the driver had evil intentions. Christina Whitaker wouldn’t be seen by her family again.

November 13, 2009, Christina goes out to a local bar in Hannibal, Missouri, to celebrate with friends. It was the first time she’d been out since giving birth six months earlier. The night took a turn for the worse when Christina has one too many drinks and starts causing a ruckus at the bar.

Christina Whitaker suffered from bipolar disorder, anxiety attacks, and fibromyalgia for years. She had been on medication for three years, trying to get her life back together. Unfortunately, those medications didn’t mix well with alcohol. It is unclear what happened at the party, but Christina was asked to leave. Her friend refused to leave the party and give her a ride home. Now, this left her alone on the street just before midnight. The new mother was at the mercy of the night, and unfortunately, a predator lurked in the shadows.

Christina was very childlike and naive, making her the perfect target for someone to exploit her. Reports say she wandered about trying to find someone to give her a ride home. She asked all of her acquaintances and a few strangers. Everyone refused to provide the troubled woman a ride.

The next morning, Christina’s live-in boyfriend calls Christina’s mother, Cindy. Christina never returned home. Cindy filed a missing person report.

Timeline:

11:45 pm – Christina is asked to leave Rookie’s Bar

Shortly after – Christina enters the Sportsman’s Bar asking for help. She was seen running out of the back entrance in tears.

Her phone was found in the 200th block of 7th St. near 7th and Church St. This is a few yards away from the Sportsman’s bar where she was last seen.

Trafficked:

Within two weeks of her disappearance, an informant gave the Hannibal police a lead. Christina was taken by a group of guys who dealt in drugs and prostitution. The witness claims she was taken two hours away to Peoria, Illinois, and sold into the sex trade.

Several possible sightings have come out of Peoria, leading the authorities to step up their investigation. A waitress claimed to have seen Christina when she went into the Raedene’s Country Cafe, asking for help. The waitress tried to ask what was wrong, but Christina left quickly before the lady could get help.

Another sighting was by a local police officer. He claimed to have seen her and tried to approach her. He said she seemed terrified and fled before he could talk to her.

At one point, a witness comes forward with valuable information. This woman was a patient in the local mental hospital when a woman fitting Christina checked herself in for treatment. She told the witness that she had been kidnapped and was being forced to work as a prostitute. She had gotten pregnant and was beaten so severely that she miscarried. She also claimed they were forcing her to take drugs. The witness went straight to the police, but by the time they arrived, Christina had vanished once again.

What happened to this poor, mentally disabled woman? Who is taking advantage of her? What terror have they struck in her heart to where she’s afraid to run? If you have any information on the disappearance of Christina Whitaker disappearance, please contact the Hannibal Police Department 573-221-0987


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Further Reading:

Christina’s Facebook Pg

Lostandmissing.org


Recommended Reading: 

Read more about Christina’s case in this book. Steffen Hou interviewed her mother for the chapter about Christina.


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Synova Cantrell may be known for her fedora, but she wears many hats. Synova volunteers with the Missouri Missing organization by highlighting obscure cold cases on her true crime blog to help generate tips. She firmly believes together we can give grieving families answers, hope, and support. Synova works as the Production Editor of True Crime: Case Files Magazine. http://www.truecrimecasefiles.com As SWMO’s #1 True Crime Writer, Synova authored Unorganized Crime; a biography of the ex-gangster Sidney Heard of Chicago, IL. This thrilling tale of con games, bank robbery, and mayhem has recently been endorsed by a retired FBI agent. Her best-selling series, Seriously Stupid Criminals, is a fan favorite in both paperback and e-book formats. Her latest e-book, Grim Justice tells the story of a judge and his wife retired in Palm Beach, Florida in 1955. Her first case files book, Snatched was released on New Year's Day. Fans eagerly await her newest serial killer series set to launch late 2019. Synova has a passion for helping fellow authors and knows how overwhelming it can be to get started in this business, that is why she created Synova's Simply Biz. Synova breaks down the business of writing in a simple way. If you need help with your business check out her new page www.synovaink.com/simplybiz. To follow all her adventures and read her true crime blog, log onto www.synovaink.com Connect with Synova: Twitter: https://twitter.com/synovaink Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/synovacantrell Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/synovaink

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