Poplar Bluff Police search for a woman missing since 1998 - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Poplar Bluff Police search for a woman missing since 1998

By Holly Brantley - bio | email

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - Almost two years after she was last seen by her family, police say Christina Pitts was reported missing. That was in 2000. Now, Poplar Bluff investigators believe someone around the area in the late 1990s knows where Christina might be.

"She was a mother, a wife, a sister, and someone's daughter," said Captain Mike Elliot of the Poplar Bluff Police Department. "She was somebody."

Christina Pitts lived in Poplar Bluff until sometime between 1998 and 2000, police say she vanished without a trace.

According to Elliot, Christina was into drugs like meth. He says she had no real address. Also, he says it's hard to nail down exactly who saw her last. According to some accounts, Christina went to her mother's home on Dec. 19, 1998 to pick up her child and go Christmas shopping. But the child was not there, so she left. No family has seen Christina since that time.

"That's not a hard and fast timeframe because she was somebody that was mobile because of the drugs," said Captain Elliot.

Elliot worked the drug sector in the late 90s, and knew Christina personally. He says she was married to Johnny Pitts and they ran hard together. Elliot says he didn't think Johnny was the best thing for Christina.

"I tried hard to get her to separate from her husband at the time but she was heavily enamored and it was probably a combination of drugs and addiction. She was 28 years old," said Captain Elliot.

Captain Elliot says Johnny Pitts eventually went to prison, and has since passed away.

"That was in the last six months," said Captain Elliot. "He was an intimidating man to a lot of people. We're hoping now somebody will come forward."

Captain Elliot says they want closure for Christina's family. While hers is a missing persons case, he says they are working it like a homicide. He says they are about to appoint a new cold case investigator to look into it. Someone, like Det. Bryce Colvin.

"Hopefully just the publicity for cases like these will help," said Det. Colvin.

Pitts was 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighed 110 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes. She has two tattoos. One is one her right wrist with the name 'Ashley.' The other is on the inside of her right ankle that says 'Tesla.'

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - It's been an emotional week for Tesla Burnett-Parr, the daughter of Christina Pitts. She said she's had new hope ever since she found out police in Poplar Bluff shared her mother's cold case story with Heartland News.

Pitts went missing sometime between 1998 and 2000.

"I've been searching for twelve years,' said Tesla.

Tesla remembers the last day her family saw Christina near Christmas of 1998. Tesla says she was living with her grandmother because the family felt Christina's life style was not good for her daughter.

"I didn't know she was into drugs that bad," said Tesla. "I was used to my mom going and not coming back for a couple of months on end and then just showing back up," she remembers.

Tesla says besides the drugs, the problems were with her mother's ex-husband, John Pitts.

"The last time I saw my mom she was with John Pitts. He was very abusive he beat her everyday that I was with her," said Tesla.

Tesla believes John Pitts, who spent time in and out of prison, and died just six months ago had something to do with her mother's disappearance.

"I remember her talking about leaving him," said Tesla. "She didn't leave him because he did threaten to kill me and my sister and my grandma if she did leave him so I know that's why she did stay with him," said Tesla.

Tesla says it has crossed her mind that Christina may have fled the area feeling that she was not good enough for her family, and also out of desperation to get away from John Pitts.

"Actually, that goes through my mind a lot," said Tesla.

"There's no closure. She has to get up everyday and wonder," said Brandy Parr.

Brandy Parr is Tesla's step-mother. She went to high school in Sikeston with Christina.

"Think how you would feel if this was your mother and you did not know for 12 years," said Parr.

Tesla says she wants answers, "I think there is at least one person that knows what happened."

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly