Details of Disappearance Christine was reportedly last seen driving a 1973 Honda 500 motorcycle with Oregon license plates in Eugene, Oregon on August 24, 1986. She and her husband, Philip Stephen Nelson, had traveled to Carson City, Nevada the previous day and picked up two Studebaker cars.
Philip says they went home together afterwards, and Christine drove off on her motorcycle early the next morning and never returned. She has never been heard from again.
Authorities have no evidence besides Philip's statements that Christine ever made it home from Carson City. She is known to have arrived in Nevada safely, but no one besides Philip reported seeing her back home in Oregon.
Christine's motorcycle was found shortly after her disappearance, parked at a rock quarry on Sears Road in Cottage Grove, Oregon. The location is about 15 miles from the Nelson home and not far from the highway.
Philip stated he believed his wife had run away with another man, and some of Christine's relatives concurred, but other members of her family thought she had disappeared under suspicious circumstances and may have been murdered.
Christine's coworkers stated she often had bruises on her body and had told them Philip abused her, but he was never charged in connection with any domestic violence incidents.
Their marriage was troubled and the couple separated a few months prior to Christine's disappearance. She moved back in with her parents, but Philip begged to her to reconcile and she began spending weekends with him at their house. By the time of her disappearance, Christine was still undecided as to whether to end her marriage.
Philip was initially cooperative with the police investigating his wife's case, but he eventually refused to take a polygraph, hired an attorney and stopped talking to authorities.
After Christine's disappearance, her mother had her declared legally dead and sued Philip, claiming he had killed his wife, hidden her body and then moved to Alaska to avoid being prosecuted. Oregon law states that a murderer cannot benefit from their victim's estate.
The lawsuit was dropped after Philip agreed to withdraw all claims to Christine's estate, including her retirement and insurance benefits. He has never been charged in her disappearance.
Christine was employed as a secretary for the University of Oregon at the time of her disappearance. She is described as an extremely outgoing and athletic person; she enjoys swimming, wind-surfing, baseball and horseback riding. Most of her relatives are now deceased.
Foul play is suspected in her case, which remains unsolved.
- Lane County Sheriff's Department
Updated 7 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated October 11, 2011; picture added.