Details of Disappearance
Bastian was last seen in Apple Valley, California on November 1, 2015. She was supposed to stay the night with a female friend, but got upset and left her friend's house at 1:45 a.m. with her small tan and white dog, a Maltese/poodle mix named Cocoa. A photo of Cocoa is posted with this case summary. Bastian left many of her belongings at her friend's house, including her wallet, identification and glasses, even though she would have needed the glasses in order to see.
That same night, the California Highway Patrol found some of Bastian's belongings on the road near Highway 247 and Bodick Road in Johnson Valley, California. Later that same morning, her silver two-door 1500 Dodge Ram pickup truck, which she had only owned for a week, was found abandoned near Valley View Road and Twentynine Palms Highway in Morongo Valley, California. It had dents and scratches on both sides, as if it had been driven over rough desert terrain.
An Apple Valley woman found Cocoa near the intersection of Bear Valley Road and Highway 18 on November 1, the same date Bastian disappeared, and took her home with her. The woman put a photo of Cocoa on an ad page about lost and found animals, and a friend of Bastian's mother saw the ad and told her family, who contacted the woman and verified that the dog she found was Bastian's. As they were busy searching for Bastian, they left Cocoa in the woman's care.
On November 11, someone found a backpack containing Bastian's belongings on a dirt road near Bear Valley Road and Central Roads. A search of the area turned up no further evidence.
Bastian quit taking her bipolar disorder medicine a few months before she disappeared. At first she seemed to be doing well and said God had healed her. She taught freshman and sophomore English at Silverado High School and was working on getting a master's degree, as well as saving money to buy her own home.
However, just a few days before she disappeared, she told people someone had broken into her apartment on Laguna Road in Apple Valley. She began acting paranoid and erratic after the break-in, and was too frightened to remain in her apartment. She took some of her most precious belongings and left to stay with others.
She took the SIM card out of her phone and then broke the phone, and drove from Apple Valley to Phoenix, Arizona and back, about 700 miles round-trip, the day before she disappeared. She spoke to her brother-in-law and said she "didn't want to be Christina Bastian anymore" and wanted to "disappear." She was deep in debt from student loans and was considering taking a break from her job, so she could decide what to do with herself.
Bastian's family believes she may have decided to walk out of her life, but because of her mental illness and because it's uncharacteristic of her to leave without warning, they're concerned for her safety. They stated she enjoys writing fictional stories and is a devout Christian. Her case remains unsolved.