On April 8, 1988, 27-year-old Lysandra Marie Turpin was reported missing to Humboldt County law enforcement. Few leads were founds and Ms. Turpin was never found. In February of 2010 a man now living in North Carolina contacted the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and said when he was 16 years-old he had witnessed his father murder Ms. Turpin. The man reported that in 1988 his father, Ernest Samuel Christie Jr., murdered Ms. Turpin near their Fieldbrook home. The man was able to provide Sheriff’s Detectives with a map of the location where her body had been disposed of.
During the ensuing investigation, Christie’s son went on to explain that his father was violent and abusive and was a frequent user of methamphetamine. His son – now 38 – explained that in 1988 his father brought Ms. Turpin to their residence in Fieldbrook. Christie held Mr. Turpin at the house for several weeks and killed her after weeks of abuse. After killing Ms. Turpin, Christie made his son help dump her body in a ditch, cover it with tires, douse it in gasoline and set it on fire.
Sheriff’s Detectives, Deputies, and the Sheriff’s Evidence Technician searched the area marked on the maps provided by Christie’s son. The area was a now-overgrown ditch in a wooden area near Fieldbrook. The search yielded teeth, clothing, and charred bones. Yesterday a forensic odontologist positively identified the remains as Lysandra Turpin.
When asked if he remembered if his father had been involved in any other killings, Christie’s son reported that his father once held a woman prisoner inside a Redwood tree stump. She was able to escape and did not report her ordeal to law enforcement. He provided a description of the location and Sheriff’s personnel located the tree stump. Hollowed out, and only accessible by climbing over the top and back down inside of it, Special Services Deputies made access into the stump from the ground with a chainsaw. Inside they found a carpet, plastic jugs, a hypodermic syringe, and clothing. The victim in this incident has since passed away of natural causes.
Christie’s son related other accounts of his father terrorizing women, once taking a woman out to his fishing boat, tying her up and telling her he was going to kill her. She was able to escape when Christie became distracted. Detectives interviewed this victim recently when the case came to light. She confirmed the incident.
Ernest Samuel Christie Jr. died on June 29, 2006. His son, who came forward with the information, Ernest Samuel Christie III, was 16 years-old when his father forced him to witness the murder of Ms. Turpin. He is not facing criminal charges.