The Placer County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday the remains of Christie Wilson, who had been missing since October 2005, have been identified.
“Today is an absolute joyous day,” said Wilson’s mother, Debbie Boyd.
After almost 15 years of not knowing, Boyd said she was elated her daughter’s remains have been found.
“Today is a day that absolutely reflects some of the greatest level of perseverance and police work that a victim’s family could ever ask for,” she said.
Wilson was last seen leaving Thunder Valley casino in Lincoln in the arms of Mario Garcia.
In 2006, Garcia was tried for Wilson’s murder and in 2007 he was convicted.
“At one time I remember she kissing me once, yes,” Garcia told FOX40.
Speaking with FOX40 while in custody, Garcia always maintained he was innocent.
“But to say that we were hugging and kissing and those kinds of things, no, that was not happening,” he said.
Investigators never found Wilson’s body — until her skeletal remains were discovered last week.
“What’s important for everyone to remember is the search for Christie never stopped,” said Placer County Sheriff Devon Bell.
Placer County investigators say they found Wilson’s body on a 4.5-acre piece of land Garcia owned at the time of Wilson’s death. That Auburn property was searched in 2005 with cadaver dogs but nothing was found.
This time around, they used ground-penetrating radar.
“It’s a relatively new application for that technology, which has been around for a while. And that aided us in the discovery of her remains on his property,” said Placer County Sheriff’s Lt. Andrew Scott.
Skeletal remains were found, officials said, and dental records confirmed them to be Wilson’s.
However, investigators admitted they got a tip that gave them a better idea of where exactly to search. They have been vague with those details.
“We’re not going to be discussing where that information came at this time,” Lt. Scott said.
“I have hoped and prayed for this day for so, so long and although bittersweet, it is a happy day,” said Wilson’s sister, Stacey Wilson.
Regardless, Christie Wilson’s family said they were so relieved to finally know where she is.
“Today, I feel great pride in the fact that with all the games that got played and all the hurt, the truth has come out,” Boyd said. “She was found on her killer’s property.”
The sheriff, district attorney and Christie Wilson’s family all said Garcia had every opportunity to help them locate her body but he did nothing to help.
Everyone thanked the jury as well for “getting it right.”