Original Air Date 09.24.2018
In This Episode
Mama said, don’t go near that river…
Phebe recounts an unnerving story, involving her psychic connection with Kristal. Then, a UAV veteran returns with his opinion on the newest person of interest.
Phebe: 00:00 Some of us, we tried doing some readings and that, and we were getting messages because we all knew her, and we were working with this. But, we were getting river and caves. One night after we'd met up, I went home ... I have a TV because someone gave me one. I hardly ever watch it. That's not me. I don't come home and turn on the TV. I'm too busy, first of all. I'm never home.
Meredith: 00:31 Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Phebe: 00:31 That night I came home and for some reason I flipped the TV on and it was on channel 12. And a concert was just starting, and it was one that had been recorded here in Denver, and it was Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Well, you have to be old to know who they are, first of all, and they just stepped up on the stage. Just as I turn the TV on, they start their first song, and it was a song that no one in the world unless they were as old as me would have known.
Phebe: 01:09 Mama said don't go down to the river, and stay away from Catfish John. And I'm like, "Don't go down to the river. Mama wouldn't ..." And I'm like, there's something going on here. The only other band that ever did that song was The Grateful Dead. Well, that was her favorite band. There's something about this, about the river and everything.
Phebe: 01:57 So, then when I told ... it was either Amy or Angela ... I can't remember who it was ... about it, and they're like, "That's his name." And I go, "Who?" They said, "The guy, John ... you know, his name is Catfish John. That's what they call him." I'm like, "What the fuck?"
Meredith: 02:15 Unbelievable.
Phebe: 02:18 You tell me that she didn't tell me to turn that TV on and hear that song. Of course it happened. No one else would have known that. And I'm like, "Okay, Kristal, what are you telling me here?" And then when I got it confirmed that that was the guy's name, Catfish John? What the hell are the chances of that? A billion to one. I knew it was something from her.
Rodney: 03:29 Hey Payne, Rodney. I need you to call me back when you get this if you would please.
Rodney: 03:41 Would you go through the paperwork and see if Kristal had any dental work? Anything to indicate any dental work. I just got a call from Wayne about an hour ago. They found a skull, and it's female, and it matches the age range. This skull had dental work done, so the question is, "Is it Kristal?" We need to find out if she had dental work done and where she had it done, if she did. I called Wayne back and told him to check Social Services in Gunnison, Colorado.
Rodney: 04:19 If you wanna call Wayne, it might be better getting it from the source.
Wayne: 04:24 They found a skull of a female that's the approximate age. In Colorado, it could be one of 12 different ones that have been reported. What they'll do is because there has been dental work done, it's almost as good as fingerprints. So, we usually take the x-rays, we send them up to the coroner. They'll have the forensic examiner take a look at them and compare them. And once they do that, then we'll be able to tell if it's actually her or not.
Wayne: 04:49 If there's anything dental related, give me a ring and I'll get it sent off right away to the people that need it.
Newscaster: 05:03 Well, two people out for a hike end up finding a human skull, and that leads to a discovery of more human remains.
Newscaster: 05:10 He was walking with his dog when he found a human skull. Continuing our coverage of Colorado at Six, the skull was on Mud Lake open space property near Nederland. The man immediately called authorities. Right now, they're working to identify that skull.
Wayne: 05:23 There's a list of possibilities, so whenever they find a boy or girl or male or female, anytime they find anybody or anything that's unidentified, they'll call everybody else just to check.
Wayne: 05:41 That wasn't her at all. It was somebody up in Boulder. He didn't say Kristal. It was along the size, wrong shape, and all kinds of different knots.
Payne Lindsey: 05:47 So, it wasn't Kristal?
Wayne: 05:47 No.
Mary: 05:57 You could hide a body here really easy. You could disappear here really easy. It's probably in many ways one of the last places in the country you could do that. If you wanna lose a body, you could do it up here. Throw it down a mineshaft.
Mary: 06:18 Some of those shafts crapped out on the bottom and it goes into water and we don't know how far down it goes or anything.
Chris Halsne: 06:27 It is vast wilderness. There are hundreds of mine shafts and crevices and rock formations with deep crevasses. Unless somebody gave law enforcement very specific intel about where to look, the chances somebody would find her are very limited.
Chris Halsne: 06:53 We have every reason to believe that the Saguache County Sheriff's Office has enough information to make a case if they find Kristal. Back to the reward, if somebody is willing to take that money to share with authorities where they heard Kristal may be, then that's probably enough to get them the reward because that, I think, will lead to the arrest to the specific suspects.
Chris Halsne: 07:24 It has to be some place familiar for the suspect or suspects. I don't think that the suspects in this case are so brilliant that they can go to Google Maps, the terrain, and figure out a new place they've never been to find the perfect place to hide a body. These are local people who know the area and the places they need to get, there's elevation involved. And you can't carry a body very far. Some place that they know that isn't that hard to get to.
Chris Halsne: 07:59 Some day, and it may be tomorrow ... it may be 30 years from now ... some day, somebody will come across a clue.
Amy Mitchell: 09:27 Honestly, there's really no confirmation that the drum circle is even relevant. Kind of, in a sense, because it keeps coming up, but it might just be happenstance that this all transpired around the same time as the drum circle because I don't know of ... I couldn't tell you a single connection to the drum circle.
Amy Mitchell: 09:56 I mean drum circle just kept coming up from the beginning but really, I don't know if it has any connection.
Rodney: 10:02 For us, it started out at, last time she was seen on the 13th after the drum circle, but if the drum circle was on the 18th ... so if it was July 18th-
Rodney: 10:17 And people are saying last time she was seen on the 13th ... you know, there's a lot of stuff here to weed through.
Rodney: 10:26 It almost seems like a movie or something that happens to somebody else. As time goes on, I'm losing the real image, and this is real. This is a beautiful young lady and an evil piece of crap took her life.
Amy Mitchell: 10:46 You have to try to move on in life. That's what's so hard-
Rodney: 10:46 Really? Missing?
Amy Mitchell: 10:46 Is you can't move on because it's unsolved.
Rodney: 10:47 Well, I know, it's just ... but until the person is found, hopefully ... not found ... and convicted and all that stuff, there's this distancing myself kind of in a sense. We've given pretty much everything that we think we know. And you guys are gonna be able to go out and talk to all of the other people that we don't know or never had contact with or anything else. When I start thinking that I've done all I can do, that's my fear is I'm getting into that thinking. But I don't know what else to do other than sit here and talk to you-
Amy Mitchell: 11:25 Well, that's why media is so huge right now because there will literally be nowhere to hide. That's why I keep trying to get people to share it on Facebook and stuff. No matter where you're from. I don't care if you're from New York or Colorado, no matter where you're from, this story ... I meet people from all over the country right here. It is such a small world wide web. Eventually there will be nowhere for them to hide short of fleeing the country and changing their identity.
Rodney: 11:57 Would a criminal profiler be of any assistance?
Payne Lindsey: 12:02 I know a guy.
Maurice: 12:10 Hello?
Payne Lindsey: 12:11 Maurice?
Maurice: 12:12 Yes.
Payne Lindsey: 12:14 How you doing?
Maurice: 12:15 All right, stranger.
Maurice: 12:21 You're in Colorado, right?
Payne Lindsey: 12:23 Yeah, I'm in Denver right now.
Maurice: 12:24 How far is Denver from Crestone?
Payne Lindsey: 12:26 It's about three and a half, almost four hours. It's a pretty big hike.
Maurice: 12:30 Oh God. Man, that's like Atlanta to Ocilla. I didn't know I was wandering ... I mean this is a very difficult case. I think that the person that harmed her ... Kristal ... was at the minimum an acquaintance or more. I do not believe that it was a stranger. 95% of the criminal cases in the United States ... if somebody's gonna harm you, it's somebody you know. She definitely knew the person who harmed her. There's no doubt about that.
Payne Lindsey: 13:04 I gave Maurice a copy of the police report, and he went over it in detail.
Rob Ricotta: 13:10 I had heard through social media that a man named John ... had been seen with Kristal shortly before she was last seen. John goes by the nickname Catfish. I spoke with John at his home.
Rob Ricotta: 13:23 John stated that around his birthday, that Kristal had come over to his house. When I asked him how she got there, he said that he did not know, and that she just knocked on the door. John said he did not see a car outside. He was not sure of the date or the time, except it was still light outside when Kristal showed up.
Maurice: 13:47 Here, Catfish is trying to distance himself from Kristal.
Rob Ricotta: 13:58 He stated that they drank wine, smoked marijuana, and watched movies. He said that he fell asleep and woke up when Kristal was leaving. He said that he did not get up to walk her out of the door, and did not know what time it was when she left due to the wine and marijuana. John said that he fell asleep as she was leaving. John offered to let me search his house and the grounds to prove that Kristal was not there.
Rob Ricotta: 14:24 John said that he did not know Kristal that well.
Maurice: 14:28 That statement that he didn't know her well, he was trying to distance himself from anything to do with her. And he was clearly lying.
Rob Ricotta: 14:42 [Rewinding]
Rob Ricotta: 14:44 John stated that around his birthday that Kristal had come over to his house.
Maurice: 14:50 He just said, "Around my birthday" ... see?
Payne Lindsey: 14:53 The last time Kristal was seen or heard from was likely July 13th, but Catfish's birthday is on July 21st.
Maurice: 14:59 Because of his use of drugs and drinking and stuff, he had disjointed thinking. He can't reason this stuff out like you're doing with these dates and stuff, so he made a mistake. He revealed himself when he made that statement.
Rob Ricotta: 15:16 John offered to let me search his house and the grounds to prove that Kristal was not there.
Maurice: 15:21 It's not unusual for a guilty person to allow police officers to search their home. Everything in that interview ... he was deceptive, and he's trying to distance himself from Kristal, and I'm not saying he's guilty or anything, I'm saying he's suspicious. He lied in that interview, and he showed deception and distanced himself from Kristal, which are bad things when you're a person of interest. He's definitely a person of interest, and should be until he's absolutely cleared. Have you ever interviewed Catfish?
Payne Lindsey: 15:56 I tried to contact him on Facebook but he ignored me.
Maurice: 16:00 Yeah, that's a bad sign. When you've got the power of drugs and you've got people who you buy from and who gets drugs from you, there's sort of a tight bond there. And sometimes people owe debts and stuff to people, so is it possible that he could perhaps had somebody to do a favor for him? Very possible, and not say anything about him. We saw that in the Tara case. They never ratted out each other.
Maurice: 16:36 I think that she's from five to 10 miles from Crestone. When you drive in that wide open space out there, sometimes you tend to think that you've gone further than you have. There's a whole host of opportunities along that drive. A lot of places to be able to get rid of a body. I just think that they drove but they didn't drive as far as they thought they had driven, and then they said, "This is a good place. We need to go ahead and get rid of her over here."
Maurice: 17:15 You gotta get off your ass and go do some legwork. And that's exactly what you're doing ... you're doing a lot of legwork. You're not setting back waiting for a miracle call out of the sky with some information to give it to you, you got to go create it.
Payne Lindsey: 18:55 The police report mentioned Kristal's counselor in Crestone, so I tracked her down and gave her a call.
Cindy Santi: 19:00 I was living in Crestone. I was teaching human development. And I went to The Bliss one night, and I ordered a glass of wine and a salad. And she comes walking up to me and she said ... I'd never seen her before ... she said, "Will you do a reading for me?" And I said, "Be back in 15 minutes and don't be late."
Cindy Santi: 19:23 15 minutes, she walks back up to me and she said, "Do you have your cards?" You know, I don't do tarot card readings. But I said to her, I said, "I don't need cards to read you." And I said to her very sternly, "You are about ready to lose everything, even your life, if you don't turn things around." And she started crying. She had no life force. And she was hanging with a tall Brian and there was some other guys. And they were sitting at another table there.
Cindy Santi: 20:05 And I said, "Those guys are sucking your life out of you, and when you don't have any energy then they abuse you." And she said, "Exactly." And she said, "Will you help me?" She was leaving town that day, and she was coming back for ... I think it was Spring Break? She was in school. I said, "What day will you be back?" And she told me ... I think it was like a month away. And I said, "You stay with me for a week. I will take care of you and I will help you."
Cindy Santi: 20:37 And I said, "In the meantime, I need for you to call me once a week." She lost her college, she lost her job. So, she called me. And, she started building herself up. And the day she was supposed to see me, she drove into town and instead of coming to The Bliss and seeing me, she went and saw Brian. She got there early and she saw Brian.
Cindy Santi: 21:06 Brian showed up at the Bliss, and he said to me, "You need to call Kristal." And I said, "Why do I need to call her?" And he goes, "She's very upset. I totaled her car." He thought it was real funny that he totaled her car. He totaled her car out there on the Baca, kinda on a straightaway ... I mean, you had to work hard to do it.
Cindy Santi: 21:34 So, I said, "No, I don't need to call Kristal. You tell Kristal, she calls me when she gets home." And I went home, and I didn't see her that week. She goes home, and she calls me and she says, "I know I fucked up." She said, "Well, I was feeling strong and I thought I could go see them, and Brian asked to borrow my car. And then he totaled it." And I said, "How do you feel about that?" And she said, "I think he did it on purpose."
Payne Lindsey: 22:02 Really?
Cindy Santi: 22:03 Yeah, he did it on purpose. These guys were the ones who had the drugs. I mean, these guys were ... and Kristal was so beautiful. She was Shamanic, she was beautiful, energetic. She was intelligent. She was Earth Mama. And then they would just take her energy.
Cindy Santi: 22:22 I said, "What are you gonna do about it? Stand up and fight for your life. When's he gonna pay you?" "He's gonna pay me in two weeks." Two weeks went by and Brian just laughed at her. No, he didn't pay her. I told her, "It's your choice if you're gonna take authority here. You need to file a police report and you need to get ready to take your own personal action." So, she did.
Rob Ricotta: 22:56 Filed in the combined court, Gunnison County, Colorado. May 22, 2014. Plaintiff Kristal Reisinger versus defendant Brian [censored]. The amount claimed from defendant Brian [censored] is $2200. Such claim arises from the following event:
Rob Ricotta: 23:20 On March 16, 2014, Brian [censored] borrowed my vehicle and ended up totaling it. Defendant Brian [censored] hangs out at The Bliss Café in Crestone, Colorado. Address is 187 West Silver, Crestone, Colorado. Signed, Kristal Reisinger.
Rodney: 23:46 She had filed suit against Brian [censored] back in '14, and that never came up until I saw it in her file folder and a box of pictures. And guess who served the papers on Brian [censored]?
Rob Ricotta: 24:04 Certificate of service: State of Colorado; County of Saguache. Dan Warwick, being first duly sworn, states as follows:
Rob Ricotta: 24:14 I hereby certify that I served a copy of summons, complaint, and answer to respondent Brian [censored].
Rob Ricotta: 24:24 Date: May 30, 2014.
Rob Ricotta: 24:28 Time: 9:30 PM.
Rob Ricotta: 24:31 Address: Bliss Café.
Rob Ricotta: 24:35 Signed: Lieutenant Dan Warwick, Saguache County, Colorado.
Rodney: 24:41 Dan Warwick, the sheriff ... he wasn't the sheriff at that time in 2014. He was a lieutenant. You know, I don't know if it means anything but the sheriff never mentioned that he had had contact. He led me to believe that he didn't know of Kristal other than her there in Crestone. But that's not true if I'm understanding it because he is the one that served the papers on Brian [censored] for Kristal.
Rodney: 25:09 That may be ... just have nothing to do with anything, but it's just another little thing there that, you know, I think, well ...
Payne Lindsey: 25:26 Brian also goes by Dready Brian. I started asking around to see if anyone knew anymore about Kristal and Brian's relationship. Angela, who I spoke to earlier on the podcast, told me an interesting story.
Angela: 25:39 Brian [censored] told me the backstory of their relationship. And their backstory of their relationship is when Kristal was teaching at Western State College, she had Kasha. And when she had Kasha with her, Brian [censored] was watching Kasha for her, and he lived with her. So, he ended up crashing her car. And Kristal was very upset about that and they had a falling out.
Angela: 26:06 They kinda started to become friends again slowly. And he's the one that ended up bringing her for the summer to Crestone. So, when she got to Crestone, she liked it, she fit in. She felt like it was a safe place to be. So, that may have been part of the catalyst.
Payne Lindsey: 26:32 I asked Kristal's latest boyfriend, too, AKA, the Crestone Boyfriend.
Boyfriend: 26:36 I know him pretty well, and I've heard the name being brought up a few times. But, Brian's the one who brought Kristal to Crestone in the first place. They met each other in Gunnison, and he would stay at her house at a while. She came down here with him to like check out Crestone, and he totals her car. And she took him to small claims court and stuff. He never paid her back. She ... like they were friends and stuff but she really didn't like him or like bought his reasons but he definitely was kind of in love with her for a little bit.
Boyfriend: 27:13 I think he might ... definitely, he might have been there, or he might have ... he was staying at my house and shit, dude. Like after she went missing and shit. If he did have something to do with it, that's pretty fucked up.
Payne Lindsey: 27:26 Back in Crestone, I met up with David again.
David: 27:47 So, there's the path that goes up here, and there's caves up in there. That's one of the things that we always though, like maybe she never really left from here, you know? But there's this story that keeps coming back that oh she went back to Catfish John's to confront him.
Payne Lindsey: 28:10 David said that one of his friend's in town might have some more information about Kristal. So, we drove to her house.
David: 28:30 Payne, this is Galadriel.
Galadriel: 28:30 Hey Payne.
Payne Lindsey: 28:34 How you doing?
Galadriel: 28:41 It's a bad nickname, man. You go south or go to prison, that's not a good handle. And that's how we all felt 20 years ago when he first showed up. We were like, "Catfish?" And it's usually the guy that has already killed somebody, and drags them to the bottom of the river and hides them.
Galadriel: 29:09 I always knew him as not anywhere stable when he came. He was kind of a couch surfer. He's at his dad's, and he has a few friends that he'll land at their place. I'm sure he'd rather do that then be at his dad's because at his dad's he's probably gonna get harassed about being high. So, he would be looking for other druggies to land with when he'd get here.
Galadriel: 29:36 And I do know that any time I repost anything about Kristal, Catfish tries to come and friend me on Facebook. So, he's watching. He is keeping an eye on every fucking post that is related to her because we're not friends on Facebook. I've never been his friend on Facebook. But he has tried to friend me like three or four times in the last year, every time I post-
David: 29:56 Every time-
Galadriel: 29:56 An article, or a news story, or something, he sends me a friend request. And I just giggle.
Galadriel: 30:07 I mean, I know I've never met Kristal and I didn't have any interaction with her but, I know a lot of different people would know her, and they all have different stories. One of my friends, her kids were hanging out with Kristal, and her stepdaughter and her son. And Kristal had been coming and going from up there quite a bit. And then, she came up one day really upset and crying and said that Catfish had locked her up in his house for a couple days and raped her. And she was really upset and couldn't decide what to do, and she left upset. And Ziggy finally asked him, she's like, "What's going on? Why was she crying? What's going on?"
Galadriel: 30:54 And it took her a couple days to get the info out of them, and they finally told her, and she's like, "Oh my gosh. She needs to call the police." Well, Kristal decided that she would go back over to Catfish's and confront him herself. And didn't wanna call the police, and nobody's seen her since. So, that's what I heard.
Galadriel: 31:18 I've even seen posts ... like when they posted that news story ... the Fox 5 News story ... and people were making comments ... Laura posted it, and underneath her post, someone ... some guy got on there. I don't know him. But he apparently was here and he's like, "I don't understand why we're still talking about this. I told Wayne Clark that that girl was murdered, and she was loaded in this vehicle by Catfish and driven to this area and thrown in a mineshaft. And I don't understand why they haven't found her or why more information hasn't been resolved because I told them. We've all told them what happened to her that day. And they haven't done shit. And I don't get what's wrong with Saguache Police Department."
Payne Lindsey: 33:22 Recently, an anonymous person shared a message with me. I vetted the information and I confirmed its authenticity. It's a message sent to a Crestone local to a deputy at the Saguache County Sheriff's Department. And the story is pretty damning. I shared it with Maurice, too, to get his feedback.
Maurice: 33:40 Yeah, I'm reading it.
Rob Ricotta: 33:46 Hi Wayne.
Rob Ricotta: 33:47 I know we haven't met but I know you're the local cop in Crestone, which my girlfriend and I really appreciate. About an hour ago tonight, my roommates and I witnessed something we felt was suspicious enough to report to you. We live down Enchanted Lane, and passed our neighbor coming home from town tonight. He is the second right coming down Enchanted from Camino del Rey. And I believe his name is Catfish. Though I have never personally met him, he was out in the middle of the pouring rain by his car, and appeared to have a shovel leaning against a gold 1980s to early '90s minivan. He also had a bundle laying on the ground that appeared to be something human size, next to the open backdoor of his van.
Rob Ricotta: 34:42 We don't know what this bundle was but it was certainly suspicious. Again, we don't wanna make false accusation about anything to anyone, but we were all concerned enough to decide to contact you. This was out about 8:30 tonight, and we all witnessed this strange occurrence.
Maurice: 35:00 This is troublesome. If you believe this, then he definitely goes outside of his house. This is incriminating.
Meredith: 36:00 Up and Vanished is an investigative podcast, told weekly. Produced for Tenderfoot TV by Payne Lindsey, Mike Rooney, and me, Meredith Stedman with new episodes every Monday. Executive producers, Payne Lindsey and Donald Albright. Additional production by Resonate Recordings as well as Mason Lindsey, Rob Ricotta, and Christina Dana. Our intern is Hallie Bedol. Original score by Makeup and Vanity Set. Our theme song is Ophelia, performed by Ezza Rose. Our cover art is by Trevor Eiler.
Meredith: 36:30 Special thanks to the team at Cadence 13. Visit us on social media via @upandvanished. Or you can visit our website, upandvanished.com, where you can join in on our discussion board. If you're enjoying Up and Vanished, tell a friend, family member, or coworker about it. And don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts.
Meredith: 36:50 Thanks for listening.