LEWISTON, ID -- Today we bring you the final part of the KLEW special report: Where is Christina White?
Detective Jackie Nichols believes there may be a connection between Christina White’s disappearance and the murders of Kristina Nelson and Brandi Miller, as well as the disappearance of Steven Pearsall.
In this final part I look into who they think committed these crimes.
Christina White, Brandi Miller, Kristina Nelson and Steven Pearsallall suspected to have fallen victim to the hands of another. Law enforcement made a critical discovery shortly after the murders of Miller and Nelson.
"The man that was working in the theatre that night was also, lived at the home Christina White disappeared from,” said Detective Nichols.
But there’s also another woman, killed one year before the murders of Kristina Nelson and Brandi Miller. This oneharder to link than Christina White.
"It was quite a bit different than the girls at theater area,” said Detective Nichols.
The murder of Kristen David. She was riding her bike from Moscow to Lewiston. Somewhere between the two locations, she vanished. A few days later, on the Fourth of July 1981, her body was recovered from the Snake River.
"Just the condition of the remains in that case, there are a lot of things that are very different,” said Nichols. “So I wouldn't say for sure it's connected. But I also wouldn't rule it out."
But many people speculate that the killer is the same person and Detective Jackie Nichols is keeping all possibilities open.
"If they are linked I would think the reason they are so different is because the person is trying to purposely make them so different,” said Nichols.
The way Kristen’s body was disposed of was very different than Kristina Nelson and Brandi Miller’s bodies, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions.
"Of course we don't know what happened to Christina White, so that's always the unknown in there,” said Nichols.
The suspect can’t be named because he has never been charged with the crime. But Nichols says he admits to being in the Civic Theatre the night Steven Pearsall disappeared, and when the women were murdered. He also lived at the house where Christina White was last seen.
Gloria Bobertz, Kristina Nelson’s cousin has spent years now looking into this suspect.
"He always seems to be where people have disappeared. He admits to being in the Civic Theatre that night,” said Bobertz.
After the murders in 1982, law enforcement began to look into this man’s possible involvement.
"He initially have a couple of interviews to law enforcement and then no longer wished to cooperate with law enforcement,” said Detective Nichols.
Detective Nichols says, he then moved to the other side of the country, and even though he’s thousands of miles away from Asotin County, she thinks about him every day.
"I definitely want to interview him... and I have since the day I started the case,” said Nichols.
Many people ask, why hasn’t he been charged?
"You have to be able to prove everything, and in a case this cold it becomes even more difficult because witnesses have left, passed away, forgotten,” said Nichols.
But she’s not discouraged, and she continues to follow leads.
"Now I’m kind of at the point where I'm trying to collaborate with the Lewiston Police Department, and looking through the files and cleaning them up... and looking at what we have,” said Nichols.
In the case of Christina White, Detective Nichols says when she has leads, she follows up. But one of the challenges of finding her is where we live.
"It's very daunting, without having a specific direction to look for a missing person, our landscape is extremely vast, and can be rugged and there's certain places that aren't accessible by vehicle,” said Nichols. “People can literally disappear out there and not ever be found."
Do you still feel like there's hope for solving these cases?
"Yeah, it could happen, it could definitely happen,” said Nichols. “It could be tomorrow it could be 20 years from now. And so it could definitely happen. so as long as there's still hope, I will keep working on it."
And Detective Nichol’s outlook gives the families hope.
"She seems to think this case is solvable, and I believe her,” said Bobertz. “All I know right now is I'm gonna keep pushing and I will push and push and push."
Detective Nichols has hope for these cases. She wants to look into the evidence collected at the crime scene of Kristina Nelson and Brandi Miller for the possibility DNA, but she says that’s a long grueling process. She will keep fighting until these cases are solved.
If you have information on anything involving these cases, she says to call their 24-hour dispatch line at (509) 758-2331.