MEDFORD, Ore. -- Christie Farni was six years old when she vanished in December 1978. Investigators say she was walking from her foster parent’s home to Jackson Elementary School, but it wasn’t until several hours later that anyone realized something wasn’t normal.
No clues – no leads – nothing was pointing toward Christie Farni. Interviews with the foster family, Farni’s biological father, and even door-to-door knocks on neighbors’ doors turned up nothing.
Investigators say they couldn’t find anything suspicious that could lead to a definitive answer.
“It was just… everybody was frantic trying to find Christie, but there was nothing that developed, you know? said Detective Terry Newell of the Medford Police Department. "It was just… we never got a solid lead from anybody.”
Farni and her brother – James Dean – were in foster care after being removed from their biological father’s care, who - according to reports - was facing allegations of physical abuse.
Dean still wonders what happened to his sister, but understands time doesn’t heal all wounds.
“I was angry... I’m still angry," Dean said. "That was my sister."
Dean was only two years older than Farni - eight years old when she vanished. Ultimately, it led to a lifetime of unanswered questions and heartache.
“She was everything to me," Dean said. "To lose her… it killed a part of me that’ll never return.”
Despite hope that something will come up in this unsolved case and provide a conclusion to this decades-long pain, there’s a bitter feeling sitting in the back of Dean's mind.
I’m afraid the day i get answers is the day I die… and that hurts," Dean emotionally said. "Because she was my best friend, and I’ve grown up and I’ve dealt with it all on my own… again, with zero help. I’ve just learned to deal with it.”
Dean is a father now; he has a young son. His sister’s disappearance has taught him to be more careful with his own family, saying he’s seen the evil in this world, and he just wants to teach his son how to be protective of his own kids when he gets older.
[If Christie was still around, would things be different?] - "They would be... I wouldn't have grown up angry and angry at the world... she was my best friend."