Details of Disappearance
Christina was last seen in Hueytown, Alabama on September 17, 1973. At the time of her disappearance, she lived alone with her mother, Janet Gail Carter. A photo of Janet is posted with this case summary. She was originally from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She was employed with an insurance company in Birmingham, Alabama in September 1973.
Janet disappeared at the same time as her daughter. She and Christina's father had gotten divorced two months before, and Christina's father was seeking custody of the child. Janet was dating a married man at the time of her disappearance, and said she was going on a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains with him. When she went Christina went missing, her family assumed they'd gone off on the trip to the mountains, or that Janet had taken Christina into hiding because of the custody dispute.
On October 7, Janet's nude, bound body was found inside a duffel bag alongside Clingmans Dome Road in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. She had been killed by suffocation the same day she was found. Her remains were not identified for a month, and it was only after this that authorities realized Christina was missing. An extensive search of the park turned up no indication of Christina's whereabouts.
According to Janet's family members, her married boyfriend was in the area where Janet's body was found around the time of her death, but his wife provided an alibi for him. The man is now deceased.
Because of the circumstances, authorities suggested Janet gave Christina to someone else to care for prior to her murder and Christina might still be alive. This theory has never been confirmed, however. Janet's murder has never been solved and there has been no sign of Christina since 1973.