A “psychotic break” may have led to a young woman’s disappearance.

A young woman with short brown hair, Kristi Krebs.
Kristi Krebs


Gender: Female
DOB: 12/29/70
Height: 5’2”
Weight: 140 lbs .
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Brown
Defining Characteristics: She has a deformed right thumb that is thick at the knuckle with the tip of the thumb curving inward; she has several large moles on her neck below her right cheek
Remarks: Last seen 8/9/93


August 10, 1993, in a remote corner of redwood forest just east of Mendocino, California, a car was found stuck in the mud. The radio had been ripped out. There were small traces of blood on the dashboard and the front seat, along with shredded identification papers. A few torn-up photographs were scattered nearby. The photos, the papers, and the car were all traced to 22-year-old Kristi Krebs. She had worked as a chef just seven miles from where her car was found.

A two door compact car on fire.

Kristi’s car was engulfed by flames

For Kristi’s parents, the scene was all too familiar. When Kristi graduated from high school in 1989, she went to work full-time in a local restaurant. She was cheerful and upbeat, but she also became infatuated, and then obsessed, with a married man. Then, on April 30, 1990, three years before her disappearance, Kristi apparently began to fantasize about marrying this man. She drove around in a euphoric daze for hours and lost her way on a country road. Her car became hopelessly stuck in the mud, then burst into flames. When found, the interior had been totally destroyed and Kristi was nowhere to be seen.

The morning after the incident, railroad workers saw a dazed and disoriented young woman wandering along the tracks. The car fire had apparently sent Kristi into a traumatic mental breakdown. One of the men recognized Kristi and called her parents. Bob Krebs is Kristi’s father:

“Initially, we thought things were o.k. But as we were driving back into town, the behavior we were getting from her was very bizarre, chanting and doing very weird things. And I looked at my wife and said, ‘We’re not going home. We’re going to the hospital.'”

A person with short hair walking down train tracks.

Kristi was found wandering the tracks

Susan’s mother wondered if her daughter would ever be well again:

“At first they thought she might have been on drugs, but they were able to test her and see that there were no drugs in her system.”

Over the next few months, Kristi was in and out of the hospital and was eventually diagnosed as having had a psychotic, trauma-related break. After therapy and drug treatment, she made rapid progress. And after six months, things were looking up. Kristi was released from the hospital. Her therapists recommended that she go back to work, but only part-time. Kristi’s father said he was thrilled with Kristi’s progress:

“I think it was suggested she work 20 hours a week to start with. And she did incredibly well. And she was very proud of herself. She got herself a second job in a local fast-food restaurant.”

A red sedan is found by two people after being abandoned in a forest.

Her car was abandoned and she was gone

Eventually Kristi began working 10 to 12 hours a day. Three years went by. Kristi’s parents worried about her manic pace. Yet she insisted that she was ok, right up to the night she disappeared.

That night, August 9, 1993, Kristi left work in high spirits. But she didn’t go straight home. Kristi drove around until, at some point, she veered onto a dirt road. She ended up just seven miles from the spot where her previous car fire had occurred. Once again, deep in the redwoods, her car got stuck in the mud. Kristi’s father believes his daughter suffered another psychotic break:

“I think that she probably had flashbacks. It was like reliving that nightmare. And all of that, I think, just overloaded all the circuits. In my mind, the last thing she did, she went through her wallet in total frustration, whether she’s looking at pictures of family and friends, she ripped them up and scattered them around. Whether she was destroying her past and trying to get away from it, I really don’t know. I know that my daughter went through a really tough time out there for 2 or 3 hours.”

The authorities think that before she abandoned her car, Kristi changed into a gym outfit that she always carried with her. Her work clothes were found, sopping wet and neatly folded, on the backseat.

The next morning, a full-scale search was launched, but there was no trace of Kristi. However, over the next few months, several sightings were reported in Texas, then in Salt Lake City, and finally, a year later, in California.

A search team in red vest fans out in the forest looking for Kristi.

Search team looked for Kristi

On June 30, 1994 , just outside the farming town of Visalia, California, an off-duty highway worker named Mike Case picked up a hitchhiker who looked like Kristi. Mike said it was 300 miles south of the spot where Kristi’s car was abandoned:

“At first, I thought possibly she was on some type of drugs. But talking with her a little bit at the beginning, I knew that possibly she was in a world of her own. I did happen to notice that there were two slash marks on her wrist. And I asked her directly, ‘Well, what happened there?’ And she said, ‘I had a breakdown.'”

Mike dropped Kristi off at an intersection near Hanford, California. A week later, he read an article about Kristi’s disappearance and contacted her parents. They immediately sent photographs, which Mike reviewed:

“I went through several of the pictures and my personal feeling was that this is the girl I picked up on the freeway. I’m positive that it is her. I’m positive.

Kristi’s mother is hopeful that Kristy is still alive:

“I believe that Kristi is out there somewhere and that she’s alive, because Kristi is a survivor. She has a lot of strength. She’s very friendly. I believe that she would not be a loner, that she would hook up with someone.”

Kristi’s parents now believe one of the most credible sightings is from a woman who picked up a girl hitchhiking between Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah. The woman was able to describe details about her clothing that had never been released to the public.

Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season seven with Robert Stack and in season four with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.




  1. Christy

    I remember seeing an episode about this about 20 years ago. I swear the HR lady at First Health in Scottsdale, AZ looked just like her and had a deformed thumb. I was so sure of it that I asked her when I saw her. She just laughed it off and said it was strange, but not her. I wish I could remember the HR lady’s name.


  2. Jackson

    Just saw this on the old UM episode, not sure if helpful, but seems oddly similar to the disappearance of Bryce Laspisa, also in CA, in 2013.


  3. Anonymous

    Is it as simple as a Google image search? She looks exactly like the age progression photo.


  4. Barb

    She’s crazy fantasizing about a married man that’s not right


  5. Anonymous

    I swear this woman looks like a former paraprofessional i had in my Maine special education class about twelve years ago. It more then likely isn’t her but gosh she looked very similar to Kristi.


  6. Alexander Wallace

    I was living in Ft.Bragg,Ca when she disapeared in 1993,and worked at the local hospitalIt is a small coastal town,with some beautiful beaches..There was only 7000 or so people living there so a small town. I wonder if I ever ran into her,yet only went to Roundtable pizza a few times(where I think she worked)It looks like she had mental illness with psychotic symptoms,which caused her disapearance.It’s been 28 yrs,could she still be alive and living somehere?How come no contact with her family?Could she have died or been murdered?I hope not,and I hope her family can get some closure soon!


  7. Bill Blaski

    Can’t imagine how she just vanished? The lady and truck driver described her to a T. I saw where Jennifer Keesee family had $80000 in a go fund me acct. This money was to be used to pay private investigators. I am also assuming no one is using her DOB or SSN. Let’s get some new eyes on Kristis case. The family must get some closure.


  8. Ronnie

    Kristi may have also told her parents something bad that happened to her and they didn’t believe her. So she had to move away to get away from bad person.


  9. Ronnie

    This is what we are getting:
    Kristi is in a town that starts with an “M” in Missouri. We are thinking Marysville as it is far away from any freeways, is to the upper left of the state. She works as a cooks assistant cutting vegetables, etc at a cafe and possibly lives in a trailer behind it. It’s a very small town with ranches and poor people and mines. This comes from a very good psychic. What got me is there is a comment above that also said they saw her in Missouri. WOW.
    According to the psychic, Kristi wants to be far away from what set her off and/or possibly by seeing her parents would bring something bad to them.


  10. Sofia

    Is She Still Missing?


  11. LA

    Keep checking North Carolina, with emphasis on Aberdeen and Southern Pines. I am certain I encountered her in AA over a six month period. I saw this episode a few years ago and have not seen her since the episode aired. This was a few years ago and she has since been in a psychiatric unit. I was reluctant to leave this because AA is anonymous. She was going by the name Deborah/Debra. She mentioned a car wreck quite a few times, had the deformed thumb, and seemed to hit both manic and depressive sides of the spectrum.


    • Katherine

      Please call this in as a tip, not just a comment! This seems really solid and it could be the information they need to find her.


  12. Bill Blaski

    Rewatched Kristi episode tonight on Pluto TV. The sightings of her seem so credible. The truck driver was so sure he had picked up Kristi. I cant help but wonder if a private investigator would be willing to take this case. What type of terrain did they locate her car the 2nd time around? Does anyone know if they brought out blood hounds or cadaver dogs to track her sent? You are in my prayers


  13. Michelle Sainz

    Is she missing from Hanford or Fort Bragg area?


  14. S Leeman

    Was kristi ever found?


  15. Charles

    I dont think her case met with foul play. She had a nervous breakdown, possibly from working way too much. I have seen it happen before and she never fully recovered from it. She seems to like to travel widely which makes it so difficult to find her. Never give up hope.


  16. Vincent Aragon

    Has anyone seen if New Orleans Jane Doe is a match. She was discovered in 2003 and is about the same height and age and the reconstruction looks similar. Please see link:



  17. Brie

    I saw this episode this morning and something compelled me to follow an instinct. Recently, my boyfriend and I visited Philadelphia. We took an Uber to the historic district to do some exploring. Oddly, a woman with a deformed right thumb, or possible index finger,was our driver. She had blue eyes and dark hair and seemed like she was in her 40’s. She said she had children, but I can’t remember how many. We had a busy weekend and took many Uber’s so I can not tell you what color the vehicle was, but I hope I will remember. I don’t know if there’s anything to go on here, but I felt the need to at least tell someone.


  18. David Foster

    I first saw this case yesterday and my heart went out to Krisi and her family it was such a touching case for I know people who have mental health issues. If I lived in the States I would find time to look but as a previous comment said it’s like a needle in a haystack. I just hope and pray they find closure. But as long as no body has been found their is still hope. As for hope on a lighter note I wish this show would come back it was brilliant and it’s missed over here in the UK theirs only so many repeats you can watch.


  19. Anonymous

    I live in New Orleans and its so unforunate that the city has lots of people like this. That travel here or out of sorts. I really hope one day the family get some closer on this. Its very certain that she was lovec very much


  20. Sheri from Fort Bragg

    I think of her often. Especially on her birthday every year. She was very kind, and I couldn’t find anything bad to say about her. I took piano lessons at the same place with her, and went to the same school. I have prayed for decades they would find her alive. But just finding her at all, so her family had closure, would be a blessing after all this time. We are a small close knit community and this has bothered me deeply since it happened. I will never forget her kindness, laugh, and big smile. She was always so happy yo see me when I would stop by round table. I wish she would come back home to fort Bragg. But my personal gut feeling is she is in the woods deceased. That’s not what I want to believe, but it’s what I think is most plausible. That she succumbed to exposure. Nights can get chilly and foggy here. Woods do have mountain lions and brears that roam also. I want so badly to search for her. It’s like a needle in a haystack with the dense foliage floor of the redwoods here. Makes searches harder and more challenging but not impossible. I wish we could restart a campaign to find her and bring her home, but that final approval needs to be from her parents and brother first. Get volunteers to search with trained dogs for remsins and clothing or any sign of her. I don’t know if witness accounts are correct, if it was really her. I just know she is missed and loved back home, and finding her would be such a gift for her family and close friends.


    • Corrina Lee

      I was about 9 or 10 at the time Kristy disappeared. I didn’t know her or her family personally. I did see a young lady at a WalMart in the town I now live in. I can’t say for 100% sure it was Kristy. I just remember thinking, I have seen that girl before. And she wasn’t alone. I haven’t been in contact with her mother in years. I used to have her phone number and I would call every now and then to see if there was any news. I don’t even know if she would remember me. I often think about Kristy and her family. Not knowing is probably the worst feeling in the world.


    • Nichole

      I believe I have seen her in the independence Missouri location I’ve seen her or I strongly believe its her around Crysler and 23rd st only having a old brown maybe red purse the picture today of what she would look like is her clone I believe to be her and believe she is homeless


      • Unsolved Mysteries Post author

        Thank you Nichole – we have passed that information on to the law enforcement agency handling this case.


  21. Paula

    try the Railroad about a mile. By a tree. I camped out there in 2000, I senced here badly.


  22. Ally

    Are there any updates on this case?


  23. Joe sells

    Hoping one day you would call and say we found Kristi .never stop hoping for her to return one day.


  24. MARY



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