Robert Lewis Christian

Above: Christian, circa 1977

  • Missing Since 09/16/1977
  • Missing From Madison, Wisconsin
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Height and Weight 5'10, 210 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A flannel shirt and blue jeans.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair. Christian wears wire-framed eyeglasses with thick lenses, and he has a mustache. His nickname is Bob.

Details of Disappearance

Christian went missing during a trip from Madison, Wisconsin to Baraboo, Wisconsin on September 16, 1977. He had dinner with his parents and then left their home at 5:30 p.m. driving his Hornet station wagon. He had his bow hunting gear and a change of clothes with him. Christian withdrew $25 from his account at the bank after he left his parents' residence, then bought a pack of cigars at a local Walgreens store. He planned to meet a friend the next morning and go deer hunting at Baraboo Bluffs.

At 9:30 p.m., Christian's friend's mother called his parents to say Christian had not arrived in Baraboo. His parents called the police in three counties to find out if he had been in a car accident, then called the Madison Police Department. Because Christian was 18 and legally an adult, the police initially refused to take a missing persons report and suggested he had possibly gone to a party and not told anyone. After more time passed without anyone hearing from Christian, the police took a report and began looking for him.

After Christian's disappearance was reported, a witness came forward and said she had seen him and his car at a retreat in Durward's Glen. Christian told the witness he was looking for his friend, then said he must be looking in the wrong place. He then drove away eastward.

Christian's father and brother found the Hornet was parked in a driveway near the State Patrol relay antenna on Tower Road, southeast of the city, the day after Christian disappeared. Its wheels, tires and battery were gone. Tracker dogs followed Christian's scent for a short distance from where his car was found, but lost the trail on Tower road. Christian is very familiar with the vicinity where his vehicle was found; he had gone hunting, fishing and camping in the general area before.

Acting on a tip, the police found the Hornet's hubcaps and four old tires in a quarry south of the Badger Army Ammunition Plant and north of Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin. Apparently, someone had switched the new tires from the Hornet with the old tires on their vehicle, then dumped the old tires and the hubcaps. This individual has never been identified. It is unclear whether the stripping of Christian's car is related to his disappearance.

Christian has never been heard from again and an extensive search of the area turned up no sign of him. He was a freshman at the University of Wisconsin at Madison at the time of his disappearance, and planned to become a computer programmer. He is described as a reliable, honest individual; it is uncharacteristic of him to leave without warning. Christian's parents stated he was not having any problems at the time of his disappearance, had no enemies, was not involved with drugs and was excited about his college studies. His case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Sauk County Sheriff's Department 608-356-4808 OR 800-377-1195

Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated February 25, 2014; date of birth added.