Christopher Nathan Shipley

Shipley, circa 2001; Timothy Bennett

  • Missing Since 12/04/2001
  • Missing From Riley County, Kansas
  • Classification Lost/Injured Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Age 18 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'9, 130 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown eyes. Shipley's nickname is Chris.

Details of Disappearance

Shipley was last seen in Riley County, Kansas on December 4, 2001. He and two fellow Kansas State University (KSU) students, Kyle Chapman and Timothy Michael Bennett, decided to go sailing after the day's classes were over. Chapman owned a yellow fifteen-foot racing sailboat.

The three of them set out from the Blue Valley Yacht Club in the Tuttle Cove area on the west side of Tuttle Creek Lake, leaving their shoes on the dock. They never returned home.

Two days later, their boat was later found empty and adrift on the lake, its keel and rudder detached, and the jib sail in its bag inside the boat. That same day, Bennett's body was found in Carnahan Creek on the east side of the lake, half a mile from the boat, still wearing his life jacket. A photo of him is posted with this case summary. Chapman and Shipley were not located in spite of an extensive search.

Bennett, Chapman and Shipley were all experienced sailors, qualified sailing instructors and Eagle Scouts. The weather was unseasonably mild, with temperatures reaching as high as the seventies, but sailing conditions that day were reportedly "terrible" with strong winds. Authorities believe they ran into trouble in the water.

Shipley was involved in the band at Olathe South High School in Olathe, Kansas. He was majoring in animal sciences at KSU, was a member of the university marching band, and lived on campus in Marlatt Hall. His body, and Chapman's, have never been found.

Investigating Agency

  • Riley County Police Department
  • Kansas Bureau of Investigation 785-296-4017

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated October 7, 2019; casefile added.