Christina Zane

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Above: Zane, circa 1982

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: April 28, 1982 from Mobile, Alabama
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Age: 20 years old
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Zane was last seen at her apartment in Mobile, Alabama on April 28, 1982. She was reported missing the next day after she failed to show up for work. She has never been heard from again. The day after her disappearance, her car was found wrecked and abandoned on Todd Acres Road at Rattlesnake Bayou, with her purse and other personal belongings inside it.

    Robert Steven Gilchrist was the last person to see Zane before her disappearance. On May 11, 1982, he went to the police and said he'd met Zane at a bar and went home with her that evening, and a few days later she came to his apartment and had a "sex orgy" with him and his male roommate. He said he never saw her again after that.

    Derenda Henderson, Gilchrist's sometime live-in girlfriend, went to the police in July 1982, while Gilchrist was serving a thirty-day jail term for an unrelated assault conviction. Henderson said Gilchrist had told her on several occasions between May 11 and early June about how he beat Zane to death with a stick, wrapped her body in a sheet and buried her body in a swampy wooded area. He said he committed the murder because Zane was threatening to tell people about their group sexual encounter and "make trouble" for him.

    As a result of Henderson's information, Gilchrist was charged with capital murder on July 15. He made four additional statements to police about Zane's disappearance after that. At his trial, Henderson testified about his alleged confessions to her. Gilchrist claimed he'd been there when Zane was killed, but hadn't committed the homicide himself; he stated Henderson had found him with Zane and shot Zane to death in a jealous rage. He was convicted of her murder in September 1982. The conviction was later overturned on appeal, but he was convicted a second time in 1989 and sentenced to life in prison.

    Zane worked as a clerk at K-Mart at the time of her disappearance. Her body may be buried in a swampy area in the vicinity of Todd Acres Road and Kooiman Road in Mobile County. It has never been located.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Mobile Police Department

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    Source Information
    Justia
    Whereabouts Still Unknown
    The Montgomery Advertiser
    The Pensacola News Journal
    The Anniston Star

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    Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated June 25, 2017; date of disappearance and details of disappearance updated.

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