Rear of the Lewiston Civic Theatre where three people vanished in a single night

Life in the Lewis-Clark Valley grows complicated after a serial killer strikes their quiet rural communities

Ravine in Lewiston where bodies of Kristina and Jacqueline were found 1 1/2 years after their disappearanceLife in rural America is supposed to be relaxing, simple, and even mundane. But for three years in the late 70’s, life in communities in and around the Lewis-Clark Valley was anything but ordinary. Parents shuffled their youth to school in groups and children were told to never be alone outside after dark. During those three years, five youth had disappeared. When human body parts were found wrapped in black garbage bags, floating in the nearby Snake River, police knew they had a serial killer running rampant in their community. In fact, they were even certain they knew who the killer was. Regardless, lack of evidence and one critical missing person rendered them unable to make an arrest of the person they were “99% sure” committed the evil acts.

A “person of interest” adds a bizarre twist

From early on in their investigations, police felt quite certain that their “person of interest” was the man responsible for the disappearances (and presumed murders) of the five unfortunate youth. The suspect had readily admitted to being the last person to see two of the five canonical victims alive and police were fairly certain that two others had vanished from a location the suspect admitted to being in at the time of their disappearance. Still, without concrete evidence (two of the victims’ bodies have never been found), police were unable to file charges.

Life in rural Lewis-Clark Valley

The Lewis-Clark Valley area, a triangle of cities (Lewiston, Clarkson, and Asotin) located along the border of Washington and Idaho, was named after the Lewis and Clark expedition which had camped at the confluence of the Clearwater and Snake rivers during their westward journey across the United States. Lying six miles downriver from Asotin, Washington, the area is a beautiful oasis of rivers, forests, and rolling prairie flatland. It is fairly isolated from any major cities and area residents like it that way. But despite their isolation from the evils of major metropolitan areas, during the late 1970’s for three years, Lewis-Clark Valley was exposed to a demon of their own, one that many felt they knew the true identity of but were powerless to exorcise from their community.

To date, the killer remains free.

The disappearance of Christina Lee White

Missing persons poster - Christina Lee WhiteOn April 28, 1979, 12-year-old Christina Lee White vanished from Asotin, Washington. The 5’4” 135 lb., brown hair, brown-eyed little bundle of wonder loved being outdoors and was heavily involved in her church. Described by her family as “a bit hyperactive”, she would have been a lively 7th grader at Asotin Elementary School in the fall. On the Saturday that she was last seen, she was excited about the annual county fair that had rolled into town.

Home at 503 2nd Street where Christina Lee White was last seenAt some point that day, wearing blue jeans, red leather sneakers, and a pink striped shirt, she made it to the Asotin County Fair. However, around 2:30 PM, she called her mother, told her she was not feeling well, and asked that she come pick her up. Having suffered from heat exhaustion in the past, her mother knew she was prone to heatstroke but did not have immediate access to a car to pick her up in. She instructed Christina to put a wet towel around her neck and wait for her at the bottom of the hill.

On her own initiative, Christina hopped on her pink-trimmed bike, and rode to a friends’ home at 503 2nd Street where she asked for a wet wash cloth to cool herself off with. Her friend, who was ten years old at the time, later told police that he was in the backyard, washing the dogs, and did not see Christina when she arrived. His stepfather however, came to Christina’s aid supplying a wet washrag for her to apply to her neck. When the stepfather was later questioned by the police, he admitted to being the last person to see Christina alive but claimed he had simply helped her and sent her on her way home.

Meanwhile, Christina’s mother waited anxiously at the bottom of the hill. Growing concerned, she began looking for her, asking everyone she met if they had seen a little girl fitting Christina’s description. Christina’s father suspected carnival personnel had something to do with her disappearance and at his request, the police went to the Asotin County Fairgrounds to search for her. After thoroughly investigating carnival employees, they could find no evidence of their involvement in the disappearance (the father however, spent the next several days following the carnival from town to town until he too was satisfied that they were not involved).

Little Christina White is still missing and although believed to be deceased, her body has never been found.

The disappearance and murder of Kristen David

Kristen David22-year-old Kristen David, a beautiful young woman with almond-shaped eyes, full lips, and blondish brown shoulder length hair, was a student at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. An avid bike rider, she was last seen on Friday June 26, 1981, riding her bicycle from Moscow to her summer job at the Twin City Food Plant (a pea-processing factory) in nearby Lewiston. It was not an unusual trek for Kristen, she had made this ride many times before, and one witness recalled seeing her going down a hill that lead into Lewiston the day she disappeared~. Later, another witness came forward claiming he may have seen her talking to someone in a brown van that had stopped along Highway 95 to “assist a young woman on the side of the road”.

Several days later, on Saturday July 4, 1981, two fisherman near the Red Wolf Crossing Bridge in Lewiston were moving down the river in their boat when they noticed a black, plastic garbage bag bobbing in the water near the north shore. Curious, they opened the bag and inside found the remains of a woman’s torso and leg.  Not having a radio on board the boat, they asked another boat in the area to radio it in for them and waited for the police to arrive.

Police arrived on the scene and after searching the area “just downriver from the bridge”, found more bags containing human body parts, all within 300 yards from where the fishermen found the first bag. Police noted that the Red Wolf Crossing Bridge was a long, isolated bridge with a clear, flat view of the roads leading to and from the structure and surmised the killer dumped the bags from atop the bridge, likely in the middle of the night or early morning hours.

Evidence was sent to the state crime lab who returned the results of their analysis of the body (and other accompanying articles) in short order. The discarded body belonged to 22-year old Kristen David. A taste of fear spread through the community and a rumor began to proliferate – was one of the fisherman who discovered Kristen’s body the same man who last saw little Christina before her disappearance two years earlier?

Triple disappearances in a single night

If the disappearance and murder of two young women were not enough to send the Lewis-Clark Valley communities into a state of panic, the night of September 12, 1982, during which three of their youth would disappear, must have surely pushed them to the edge.

The disappearance of Steven Pearsall

Steven PearsallAt 5’11” and 160 lbs, 35-year-old Steven Pearsall has been described as shy, easygoing, and softhearted. When he was last seen carrying a light blue cloth duffel bag of dirty laundry into the Lewiston Civic Theatre around midnight on September 12, 1982, he was wearing a beige colored, long-sleeve pullover sweater with dark stripes, a two-tone brown ski jacket, and beige colored pants. He lived in an apartment on 4th Street, the same block and side of street as Kristina Nelson (see below), and also attended art classes at Lewis-Clark State College with her. Police believe that they were at least acquaintances.

Pearsall’s girlfriend told police she had dropped him off at the theater, where he worked as a janitor and set builder, so he could do his laundry in the theater’s washer/dryer while practicing his clarinet. This was confirmed by a police patrol officer who recalled seeing him enter the building through a side door late that night. His prized clarinet was found on the scene but Pearsall was never seen again.

The disappearances of Kristina Nelson and Jacqueline (Brandi) Miller

Kristina Nelson was last seen on September 12, 1982 near the Lewiston Civic Theatre in Lewiston, Idaho21-year-old Kristina Nelson (Kris D. Nelson) was described as 5’1”, about 120 lbs., with brown eyes and long blonde hair. Her 18-year-old stepsister, Jacqueline (Brandy A. or Jackie) Miller, was last seen wearing blue jeans and a multi-colored, long sleeved poncho-type sweater tied in a knot below her hips. Kristine lived in a modest home at 233 4th Street. Her stepsister Jacqueline lived a few streets over at 412 6th Ave. Both were originally from Boise, attended the same college together (Lewis-Clark State College), and worked at Lewiston Civic Theatre, a local Lewiston community theater that would soon become a pivotal location in the Lewis-Clark Valley mystery.


On the evening of September 12, 1982, the two girls left Kristine’s home for a shopping trip to a nearby Safeway grocery store. Kristina left a note on the door of her house telling her boyfriend where they were going with instructions to go ahead and enter the home, make himself comfortable, and wait for them to return. After waiting all night, the boyfriend reported their disappearance to the Lewiston police.

Police are unsure where Kristina and Brandi went that night but recognized that their trip to Safeway would have lead them past the Lewiston Civic Theatre. They have strong suspicions that the two women, for a reason that is still not clear, entered the theater that night, either from or to their way to the grocery store.

Bodies of Kristina and Jacqueline found – Lewis-Clark Valley serial killer case gains steam

On March 19, 1984, 14-year-old Marvin Mead was collecting cans along Idaho Highway 3 (near the town of Kendrick) when he pulled his truck to the side of the road to check out a promising spot. He hoisted himself over the guardrail and walked to the nearby tree line. Finding nothing of interest, he returned to his truck. While walking back toward the highway, a tree branch knocked the hat from his head. The hat tumbled, end-over-end, into a ravine about 50 feet off the highway. As he retrieved the hat, he noticed what he at first thought was a deer skull. Reaching down to pick up the skull, he realized it was not deer, but human.

Two bodies (along with clothing and garments) were found at the location and identified as the remains of Kristina Nelson and Jacqueline Miller. It had been over a year since they disappeared. Evidence at the scene suggests the killer may have first dumped the bodies nearer to the road only to return later to move them further down the steep embankment. It was rumored that the two bodies had been tied together and police acknowledged that rope was found on the scene. The rope was traced to rope used on a ship prop at the Lewiston Civic Theatre.

With new evidence in hand, police began a more thorough investigation inside the theater, this time using the chemical luminol to test for the presence of blood. Unfortunately, this was more than a year after the girls had disappeared and even more disappointing, the heavy presence of lead paint throughout the theater produced a natural reaction with the luminol rendering the tests inconclusive.

Steven PearsallSteven Pearsall becomes a suspect

Since Pearsall had gone missing the same night as the two young ladies, it was initially suspected that he played a part in their disappearances. He had been seen entering the Lewiston Civic Theatre building and it was highly probable that Kristina and Jacqueline had also been at the theater that same night. The rope found alongside Kristina and Jackie’s bodies, identified as cordage used on props at the theater, only strengthened the police’s suspicions.

However, if Pearsall was indeed the killer, why had he left his prized clarinet at the theater that night? His personal vehicle and uncashed paycheck were left at his home and his girlfriend told police that nothing about Steven seemed amiss when she dropped him off at the theater that night. His demeanor was described as soft spoken and kindhearted. Things just didn’t add up.  When police discovered another man had been present at the theater the night Kristina and Jackie disappeared, and that the same man was the last person to see little Christina alive two years earlier, they realized the only involvement Pearsall had with the crimes was being in the wrong place at the wrong time. To the chagrin of the area’s citizens, as the police searched for additional evidence, they refused to release the name of their new “person of interest”.

Lance Voss emerges as Person of interest

Alleged photo of Lance Jeffrey Voss in the 1970'sWhen news that the police’s POI (person of interest) had been the last person to see two of the five canonical victims alive, and that he was also most likely the last person to see Kristina and Jacqueline alive too, the implication was so overwhelming. The police were quoted as saying they were “99% sure” they had their man. Victims’ family members and the local press soon learned the POI’s identity and released his name to the public – the “person of interest” was 36-year-old Lance Jeffrey Voss, a long-time resident of the area.

Lance Jeffrey Voss was born on November 15, 1947, an only son to Frank Theodore Voss and Jane Olive Voss (Nelson Aiken). His father died in Seattle, Washington when Lance was just a toddler and he spent his early years growing up in Chicago. Standing 6’4” and weighing 200 lbs., Voss is described by some as friendly and very strong. Others however, describe Voss (and his wife and stepson) as being eccentric, weird, and little creepy. Today (2014) he is 67 years old and reportedly living in North Carolina which leaves us with this question: Is Lance Voss a serial killer who got away with murder or an innocent man suffering public prosecution after official legal channels failed to gather enough evidence to charge him with a crime?

Lance Jeffrey Voss and the 1972 California mortuary break-in attempt

Police report filed during the 1972 mortuary breakin attemptWe know little of Voss’s youth but when we pick up his story as a young man, things quickly begin to seem a bit out if place. It was reported that at 25 years of age, Voss was caught and arrested for attempting to break into a Mortuary in California.

In early June 1972, 17-year-old “Antoinette” had a heated argument with her boyfriend on a California public beach. She stormed away, walked down the beach, and disappeared. The following day, her nude body was found floating near the shore. Her death was ruled a suicide (by drowning) and her remains were taken to the Willow Glen Mortuary (possibly named Fergusons at the time) at 1039 Lincoln Ave in San Jose, California where they were stored, awaiting burial preparations.

According to police reports, several days later, on June 5, 1972 at around 5:00 AM, a neighbor called the police to report a suspicious person outside the mortuary chapel. Police arrived on the scene to find Lance Voss carrying a flashlight, knife, and camera.  A recently removed window screen was found leaning against the building. Voss was arrested and charged with burglary and later reportedly plead guilty to a lesser offense (trespassing). Voss never publicly admitted (or the police have not divulged) why he was trying to break into the mortuary. What we do know, is that inside the mortuary lay the bodies of 17-year-old Antoinette and another recently deceased teenage girl.

Was Voss just a immature young man with a morbid curiosity or something more sinister?

Voss and the Christina White case

Home at 503 2nd Street where Christina Lee White was last seenAccording to reports, at some point after Christina called her mother telling her that she was sick, she went to a friend’s (Clint Clarneau) home for assistance. The home she visited at 503 2nd Street in Asotin belonged to Patricia Brennan, the girlfriend and future wife (they would marry two years later in 1981) of Lance Jeffrey Voss. Police say Clint (Voss’s future stepson) was in the backyard washing the dogs when little Christina arrived at the home. Clint had no contact with Christina that day but Voss readily admitted to police that he had seen Christina shortly before she vanished. In fact, family members say it was Voss who gave Christina the washcloth to cool her head with. Voss’s future stepson, Clint, says he was out of sight during the incident and could not say whether his father had left the home – alone or in the company of Christina White.

During the search for Christina, police and family members recall Voss approaching them and offering to assist in the search. His offer struck law enforcement as odd, not because serial killers often attempt to participate in the criminal investigations of their victims, but rather because Voss continued to suggest, excitedly, according to some, insistently, that they search in specific areas – areas that would lead the police away from the locations their investigation was indicating they should check out.

As police would later find out, Voss’s willingness to become involved in the cases of the missing and murdered youth of Lewis-Clark Valley would come up time and time again. A patrolmen recalled years later that Voss had approached him on the street and began a casual conversation by asking questions about the police’s progress on the Lewis-Clark Valley serial killer cases. The officer remembered at the time how odd and suspicious he thought his encounter with Voss had been.  Potentially even more macabre, victims’ family members recall Voss showing up, wet towel wrapped around his neck, at community search party events offering assistance in the search for the young victims’ bodies.

Voss and the Kristen David case

As Kristen rode her bike from Moscow to her job in Lewiston, eyewitness accounts put her last location near Lewiston, the serial killer’s primary area of operation. The route that she took was well known to her – and to Voss. Police reportedly pointed out that Voss’s job at the time (as a delivery man), required regular deliveries between Moscow and the known location where Kristen was last seen.

Investigators noticed that Kristen and Voss also had something more concrete in common – they both were affiliated with the Lewiston Civic Theatre. Kristen, who dreamed of someday going into TV production, had been employed there for some time. It was reported that through the theater, she was even acquainted personally with Voss.

As for the occupant of the brown van that one witness had claimed he saw a woman talking to on the highway – it is believed Voss did not own a van at the time (reportedly he owned a blue Mercury Monterrey, Gold ’71 Camaro, an old blue work truck, and a motorcycle).

Voss and the triple-disappearances from Lewiston Civic Theatre

Sofa in the Green Room of Lewiston Civic Theatre - where Voss said he slept through the disappearances that nightVoss provided a detailed timeline of events at the Lewiston Civic Theatre the night that Kristina Nelson, Jacqueline Miller, and Steven Pearsall disappeared. Voss told police that not only had he seen Steven Pearsall the night that he vanished, he had worked with him all day building a ship prop for an upcoming show (Voss spent much time at the theater working as an actor, set builder, and horn player). In his statement to police, Voss said that Pearsall had left the theater around 9:00 PM to “go to a party”. Voss said he left the theater shortly thereafter, around 9:30 PM, to go eat dinner at a pizza place. Voss says he returned to the Lewiston Civic Theatre at 10:00 PM (presumably to continue work) but since he was injured (the nature of the injury was not publicly reported) he laid down on a sofa in the Green Room to rest. It was on the sofa inside the Lewiston Clark Theatre that Voss claims he slept – from 10:00 PM until 4:00 AM the next morning. Three people are believed to have entered the theater the night and despite a heavy door leading into the building, Voss heard nothing and slept through the entire event.

With regards to Steven Pearsall, purported acquaintances noted that Voss seemed to have had a fairly close relationship with him and police believe that Pearsall was simply at the theater at an inopportune time. Regardless, his status as a missing person continues to complicate the case. As long as Pearsall remains missing, he can never fully be ruled out as a suspect and his untimely disappearance introduces “reasonable doubt” to any potential case against Voss or any other suspect. As such, police have hopes that Pearsall can one day be found (DNA profiles were taken from Pearsall’s father and placed in the national CODIS database which are searched any time an unknown body is discovered in the United States).

What little we know about the police investigation of Voss

Police publicly acknowledge that Voss has been questioned by the authorities. According to reports, at one point in the investigation, he was asked to take a polygraph test – he refused claiming he had retained an attorney who had instructed him to not talk to the police any further. However, police reportedly noted that voice stress analysis conducted on Voss during the questionings, showed “some deception”.

Very little else is known about the police’s official investigation of Voss – they have historically been reluctant to release details to the public. This is likely not the only reason the case against Voss has never progressed beyond conjecture. Comments from several of the police officers involved in the case suggest that relationships between the various legal authorities in the area often suffer due the jurisdictional arguments (counties, cities, and states share borders in the area), differences in opinion, and likely personality conflicts between key investigative personnel. This is not only a tragedy for the families of the victims but for the rest of the country where an uncaught serial killer has been allowed to roam free.

Additional notes

Other potential Lewis-Clark Valley serial killer victims

Below are other potential victims of the Lewis-Clark Valley serial killer.  These victims disappeared from the area around the same time as the five canonical victims.

Unknown (1974-1978)

On August 26, 1979, people looking for artifacts in a Dubois cave found an unidentified male torso.  Twelve years later (April 1991), a human arm was found in the same cave about 100 feet away.  The arm was intact with a piece of sweeter on it.  Later, a second arm was found near a hole in the ground that appeared to have been dug with a shovel.  When the hole was examined, two well-preserved human legs were found inside (the cool, dry cave slowed down deterioration of the body parts).  All of the body parts were wrapped inside deteriorated burlap sacks.  Clothing was also found – dark wool pants, a white cotton shirt with pink stripes, and a maroon sweater.

Police estimate the body had been inside the cave for 1-5 years.

Patricia Otto (1976)

Went missing in Lewiston on September 12, 1976.

Gayla Schaper (June 1979)

27-years-old, 5’8”, blue eyes, blonde hair. Last seen on June 29, 1979 in a pasture, where her husband had dropped her off to feed the horses, in Moscow, Idaho around 7:00 PM.

Unknown (1986)

Unidentified remains (part of torso, right leg, rib) found below Little Goose Dam.

Richard Lee Bear (April 1988)

33 years old

Kayla Campbell (2012)

Altered Dimensions received the following from a reader who pointed out the disappearance of a 16-year-old girl in Mint Hill, North Carolina in 2012.  Her body was found less than 10 minutes from the current home of the Lewis-Clark Valley’s “person of interest”:

“… Kayla Campbell, a teen who disappeared from Mint Hill, NC in 2012.  She was riding her bike home, called to say that she was 5 minutes away, then vanished. She was last seen at a Dunkin Donuts between her home and Voss’s.  Her body was found in a pond a few miles away.”

16-year-old Kayla Campbell was last seen outside the Dunkin Donuts in Mint Hill, North Carolina on Sunday 12/1/2012.  Police think she propped her bike against the building’s wall, took her computer out of her bookbag, and used the donut shop’s Wifi to get online.  On 12/7/2012, after a local contractor volunteered to drain a Mint Hill pond off of Sable Cap Road, her body was found.  Police said they had not received any specific tip regarding the pond, the were “just covering the bases”.  Her death was ruled an “accidental drowning”.

Reported forum post by stepmother of Kristi Miller

The following post appeared on a public forum.  In the post, the mother of Brandi Miller reported harassment after attempting to find additional details regarding her daughter’s disappearance.

I did not realize all these years others were as outraged as I am. I am Brandi Millers mother, and Kristi’s stepmother. Yes my heart goes out to all the other families too. I received emails on this very evening, regarding this.

Is the suspect an architect (Altered Dimensions note: the person she is referring to was the boyfriend of Kristina]? If so I knew about him when this happened, but police cleared him.

When I tried to have more done on this case, my remaining family received verbal threats. Be careful not to stir too hard or step on toes, and Mabel, I did try to get some sort of justice for my daughters, and was told to back off! “Unsolved Mysteries” was told to back off also. This seems to be a person with some pull some place.

Series of forum posts believed to be from killer or a relative

Below is a series of posts that appeared on Topix in mid-2009. At the time, family members involved with the case frequently solicited information from the public on this forum. In late August, a flurry of posts, seemingly defending Voss, appeared on the forum under the screen name “Curious”. Before long, forum members began to suspect that the poster was really the serial killer himself, or someone related to him, purposefully posting misdirecting information. They began peppering him with questions. Here are the responses that Curious provided (misspellings corrected to make reading easier).

Lewiston Civic TheaterThe girls both left their purses behind. What would be the purpose of walking to the store without a purse?

Take a walk around the properties of 503 2nd street in Asotin Wa and 4th street about 4 blocks up from there and tell us if you see anything unusually paranormal.

The FBI did do a DNA test on him. I don’t know which or how many bodies they checked but they satisfactorily cleared him as a suspect (with DNA anyway). [Altered Dimensions note: family members revealed that the DNA tests were specifically limited to another case in which Voss was a suspect and that all DNA evidence was legally restricted from being used in the Lewis-Clark Valley cases.  It has since been destroyed.]

The stepson has spoken to police. He just didn’t build their case in the direction they had hoped. The stepson wants these cases solved as bad as anyone else. He would like to see justice as much as the family members of the victims. These horrible heinous crimes need to be solved to give closure to everyone that was affected by them. If he had any information to solve these crimes he would come forward no matter how close he had been to the people suspected. He is nearing 41 years old now and does not have any fear of finding justice. He was never under any duress at any time to have to hide anything, he was just a 10 year old boy who was confronted at the time with some very serious incidents, and didn’t have the communication skills to express himself like an adult. He maintains to this day that his stepfather is innocent of these crimes to his knowledge. After 30 years of investigation he does understand the frustration of the police in this matter and wishes they would find a break in the case no matter who is at fault. Family loyalty does not mean more to him than solving these crimes because only the truth can set you free, and in this case no one has been able to find it. If the stepson had the truth needed to solve these cases he would have told it long ago.

If your source is so reliable and you think it’s more reliable than mine than please give details of the how and why the stepson was afraid of him, because I have it from a very reliable source that he never was, only that they didn’t always see eye to eye and that the stepson spent a lot of time with art and computer programming at school for long hours. I also have from the same source that if the stepson had really wanted to and really been afraid he had very protective grandparents 83 miles away in Joseph that he could have gone and lived with or a father out of state who would have come and got him if he felt threatened.(His father came and retrieved another daughter from his second marriage in 1983 when her mother left him to go to Hawaii and meet Tom Selleck. He could have fled with him then if he’d been scared.)

I can say that I know He was not scared. He would have liked his stepfather to do everything he could to clear himself, however it is not the stepsons place to ask anyone to give up constitutional rights nor could he have talked him into taking a polygraph test. The POI had once commented to family and friends that he had taken a mock polygraph test once in a college course and it said he lied about his name, and from that time forward he never trusted the tests, but thought of them as a tool to get “leverage” on someone they already suspected.

Inside the Lewiston Civic TheatreThe stepson I am satisfied was close by when the Asotin incident happened in 1979, but was not involved and did not see anything, nor was there any fear or terror. The stepdad and him and a couple of preachers kids played Dungeons and Dragons together, and he enjoyed being in Civic Theater productions with him.

Good call on the money idea in the pockets. Question: One source says they went to do laundry at the Civic Theater. I don’t recall there being any washer and dryer there in 1982. Another source says they went to an apartment building that Christina had moved from nearby. Which is accurate? Is this apartment building the one that is made of stone a block from the theater? This is old information but it’s new to me.

I would like these cases solved but I see dead ends everywhere. Have they dug thoroughly at suspected sights? I know that the POI is the best dead end they have at this point and I know it all looks suspicious, but is there another angle or direction that would help? I want to see someone come forward with information myself. This case has haunted the area for a long time and these victims’ families have a right to justice. I hope they can find it soon. Have they x-rayed the Civic Theater basement floor? They should. If it didn’t give a break in the case it would certainly clear one theory. The steps going up to backstage used to be in the back left corner of the greenroom The shoe room in the very back going towards the street was a remote often not gone in area of the costume storage(The room with rock walls like the exterior of the building.)

Did they dig at one house in Asotin or both? Have they considered any other suspects? ever? There was an arsonist burning down houses on Normal Hill at that time. I know that doesn’t match the murderers MO but how does Christian David’s murder match the MO either? I understand the connection to the disappearance of the one in Asotin in 79 and the two in Lewiston in 82, but where is the actual connection to Christin David’s murder. I remember the case but it involved a brown van. The POI drove a blue Mercury Monterrey, an old blue work truck, and a gold 71 Camaro. He would never ask to borrow anyone’s van because he was particular about his own cars(and too selfish) and would not lend them out. If he’d borrowed a brown van from anyone it would have fingered him on the spot and there would be concrete physical evidence to the fact.

To my understanding the Christin David case has a lot of resemblance to a case in Bend Oregon near that time.

Could it be that police are looking too hard to link the POI to five murders, and should focus harder on the ones they definitely have evidence for?

One last question about the Lewiston murders. Have there been many cases over the years where a person killed three people at the same time single handedly( or in close proximity to one another) and dumped two bodies in the open where they could be found and then hid a third body in a remote area separate from the other two at the same time? If there was and they were caught did they explain why? If not do you have a solid theory on why. I know a lot of questions all at once just would like to make sense of it all. Just curious.

Boater rumor is a rumor nothing more. Rumors and misinformation have hampered this investigation from the beginning.

He did know Christina White and Steve Pearsall for sure, but didn’t personally know the other two girls, But Pearsall lived next door and studied art at LCSC as did Nelson. so it’s sort of a train of associations , not all are direct.

Just to clarify the above Nelson lived next door to Pearsall. The connection was between Nelson and Pearsall, and Pearsall was connected to the POI.

I just got one thing to say. If he did not do it then give DNA to rule himself out? That is what I would do, then to live the rest of my life thinking someone thought I had did these bad things. Yes allot of question some I have answers some not. I guess the police know why they have linked these cases as one suspect but I am not privy to that info. These families need answers and someone has them.

Yes I have heard of someone killing three people at same time. Ever heard of Gregory Cook, I never asked for anyone’s name. The simple question is why was he supposed to be afraid? Or what made them think he was? You are not required to answer but when you make statements you should be able to support them. Do you think he would have stayed there with two easy ways out if he didn’t trust the mother or stepdad? I don’t want sources I just want proof to move law enforcement in a direction that takes them somewhere. Was there any domestic violence? Any stories of abuse? I know the stepson probably better than anyone and he’s not been under duress, he’s not afraid of the truth and he’s not afraid of his stepdad. He saw the connections, lived in the same house and felt safe. Their relationship was no more perfect than any other stepparent child relationship, but it was not what has been posted on this forum.

Feel free not to respond. With all due respect, everyone is entitled to anonymity. I would however like to know all the answers, because I don’t have them either. I would like to see at least one case solved if not all. If they truly are connected one might be enough to solve them all. I apologize if I have put anyone on the defensive I just want the same thing you do, the whole truth and nothing but.

Was that from LE, Newspaper or gossip? If it was from LE there should be record is it public? If its newspaper I’d like to read entire article, when was it published? If it is from “reliable source” feel no obligation to respond.

You cannot support these statements about the stepson because your source misunderstood the situation and the stepson at the time. He was a little “quirky” and was often misunderstood, but he has never had any fear of the stepdad, and definitely has nothing to hide.

No He was never out past ten except during rehearsals that were final week and on performance schedule. This happened early in rehearsals of Pirates of Penzance. Steve Pearsall made the figure head on the pirate ship from paper mache did some early set construction, then this happened. POI was always at home in the early mornings and stepson never would have even known that POI was out that late. I agree however that anyone sleeping in the green room would have heard an entrance in the back door unless they were a very very sound sleeper .(Unless the nap was taken in another part of the building which makes no sense.)The door was a heavy wood door with a noisy fit and loose dark green textured glass that made a lot of noise when it closed.

Did the officer speak to Steve that night? How could he identify Steve? The lighting back there was very poor at the time especially close to midnight it would be either pitch dark or silhouetted due to location. The silhouette would have been harder to see if greenroom lights were on in the basement. Did officer approach him at all and ask what he was doing there that late? The officer sounds like he might know some little thing that would be new and important if he carefully reviewed what he saw. One more thing. There may have been some dirt somewhere on the floor and that is where it should be checked, but the makeup room was concrete with olive green tile with a few accidental acetone etchings on tile and all heavily trafficked areas were already concrete even then. If you dig you will be dealing with mostly very old concrete throughout, but if there is any fresh that’s where you should look, and the entire basement should be x-rayed just in case.

I could not agree with you more. If the theater were checked whatever they found could either solve or redirect this case. It’s worth a look for the families’ peace. It could bring a small amount of closure for some either direction it went. It would at least give the family members of all involved the impression that someone at least tried hard to solve the case. Right now the frustration is in wondering.

I am by no means trying to defend the POI he’s not on trial just being looked at awfully hard, but my impression is he just does not and will not trust police. Most people, even people of integrity have trouble trusting police. Police deal with liars on a daily basis and it is a hard job to deal with. They are sometimes forced to use tricky tactics to get people to confess or give up information. When they happen to be wrong about what they think it makes them look bad and hard to trust. It’s not their fault it’s just one of the fallbacks of being in LE.

Even if the POI never submits to testing I am convinced that the physical evidence is out there, and if he’s your man it will convict him beyond a shadow of a doubt

I sincerely hope the board of directors has nothing to hide. They are not the accused, seems like a no brainer to me. Search the place and find out! Ground x-ray equipment should be enough until they see something. At least they could lay their heads on the pillow at night knowing that they did their best for these victims and their families! At least they could have a clear conscience that they had not stood in the way of an unsolved multiple homicide investigation!

I know the stepson nor had the POI never been in Steve’s apartment. The stepson said the POI (when questioned the first time) had been told by police that Steve had a girlfriend that had dated him a month and had never been inside his apartment. He didn’t invite people over. The POI relayed to the stepson that police said they had found some dark and bizarre drawings on the walls and laying around, but the stepson didn’t know what they were of and no one ever showed them to him to my knowledge. The POI also told him the police were all freaked out about a photo Steve had taken of himself on the cross (from the set of “Jesus Christ Superstar”). Something about Steve intended to send it to his mother with a note that said “mom having a great time in Lewiston, miss you much”. Police thought that was weird, but people that knew Steve said he didn’t talk a lot but that when he did his sense of humor was known to shine. Don’t know of any relevance to the case but that was the conversation the stepson heard in the music store on 6th street in Clarkston following the questioning.

A possible realistic theory. If a person was that calculated and planned and pulled it off I wonder why they couldn’t do something as simple as keeping their story straight. Maybe I’m giving the suspect too much credit but it all seems out of balance.

Are there any public details available on that case? If I knew some maybe I could speculate. Would LE allow someone to review the file? It’s hard to profile someone without a consistent MO .

Inside the Lewiston Civic TheatreLike “Justice Seeker I have a few questions of my own: The first is in agreement with his. I was asking this question before to others on this sight, but if you’ll reply it will clarify:” Were you one of the boaters who discovered the remains of Kristin David?” This should not be incriminating no matter how it’s answered so please answer. Secondly “Could you clarify why you were at a mortuary late at night with a knife and a Polaroid camera?” if it wasn’t like this explain, and if it was please explain. If there’s a reasonable explanation it could soften suspicion.

I believe also that their paths would have crossed at one time or another I just know that the association with Steve was a stronger one and that the two worked together a lot at that time. The POI acted like he missed Steve the first day and didn’t even act like he ever knew about the other two until it was on the news, and then he didn’t act like he even knew who they were. The art display was in the basement, but back then they changed them every production and it was not uncommon to not know who the artist was. What was the timespan of her employment at the Lewiston Civic Theater? That is new to me. Does anyone know if and when Kristin David worked there? I’ve read that somewhere on this sight too but that is also new info I’d never heard at the time.

Does anyone remember what the minor link was that Kristin David had to the theater or the POI? Does anyone know what play and what role Christina Nelson played? There are archive scrapbooks still there from that time. Could someone look her up in the old program credits and post what they find? This might establish a firmer connection and help find more people that knew her through the theater that might also know something.

Was there an actual breaking and entering conviction handed down or was it trespassing. Did he actually enter the building or just walk on the property? If this case is on record details would help.

I have addressed the POI with the same question in a post. If he is indeed reading this site perhaps he will answer. Does anyone else have knowledge of Steve Pearsalls artwork that was talked about? Did he ever do a show of it? Did anyone reading this ever go in his apartment?

Someone in the cast of Pirates of Penzance told me about a conversation between the director and the technical director that occurred in the secretary’s office. Apparently a small group of people had been in the building the night after the disappearances, but nobody was officially missing yet and so it wasn’t a big deal then. This conversation about it was after they were officially missing. The director said the police saw people inside the building really late at night. They briefly detained the people until the director arrived to make sure it wasn’t someone he knew. He simply told them all to leave and police let them go. The director said the only door unlocked was the one Steve’s key fit in the back (which matches other info.) My question is: Was there a record of this incident on file? It seems mighty relevant to me if it happened that way. If so why were they there and were any names taken? Is the director still around and willing to talk about this conversation? Has this ever been followed up on before? Was the POI in the building with them at the time?

It is common knowledge that he wore a belt knife in a case most of the time. It would interest me to know if it’s the same knife or a different one. Did they confiscate it? Could you find out if it was a folding knife or a hunting knife from the record?

He was confronted by someone about it over 10 years ago. I’m checking out his story with the record. I already know his response now I’m investigating the facts and putting them against it.

The Lewiston police did a background investigation over ten years ago. They shared some of the information with another person they were questioning. That person then confronted him because they wanted to know the answers.

Justice Seeker, I would appreciate any specific information you can obtain. Details are very very important to me. I wish to clarify one thing to the readers of this post: I am not defending or condemning anyone. I believe these cases still have a good chance of being solved. If this is going to happen it will only happen by examining the facts non objectively. Facts need to be absolutely true to have relevance. Speculation scenarios are good but only useful if they are based completely on the true facts already given. This case has leads with several dead ends. Some dead ends are a longer more curvy and interesting road than others, but at the end of the day they are still dead ends. These families deserve closure. In this battle some were killed some missing, and many many more were wounded. Healing can only come after the truth is brought out. I personally think that somewhere there is physical evidence that will connect some of the roads together and bring these cases to a close. My hope is that it is found sooner than later. If anyone has any details, no matter how small they could make a difference. I know everyone thinks this happened a certain way and I admit it looks suspicious, too suspicious. We must keep the heat turned up, turned up everywhere, if there is something we’ve overlooked we need to keep looking. It’s easy to assume we know who it is, but we can’t be positive without absolute proof. I am not 100 percent sure that a suspect acted alone, but I do know of one person who did NOT participate that some people thought might have. That was a result of speculation NOT based on fact. I still want to know facts but only with documentation and real credibility. Thank you very much for your comments replies and prayers. If I find anything else I will post as well.

I do have the name, but I will not disclose it at this time. The less connections I make publicly the more neutral I can remain. Remaining neutral is case sensitive at this time. Not giving you the name now is for everyone’s benefit who wants these cases solved. It’s got nothing to do with hiding facts. I will tell you this much: I trust the source and trust them completely, they have nothing to gain or lose themselves except peace of mind. I am checking facts for that reason. They were reasonably satisfied with the answer that the POI gave them, but if facts are proven contrary to his response I may be able to turn up the heat again. I wish it were not this way, but confidentiality and details are crucial at this point.

Missing persons poster - Steven PearsallThe people around the POI observed him not only missing Steve Pearsall but asking about him, and looking for him. Then a few days later other people came looking and asking about the girls. The story I got is that the POI found out about it and didn’t claim any association to the girls. (He could have met Kristina Nelson in passing and not remembered her) If a program showed her acting in a play that he was in with her, for example, that would be proof he did indeed know her(If the roles had close association during rehearsals production etc. Though a spot light operator might not know the cast members another cast would know them.) If he didn’t know her he didn’t. But if we could establish a true provable connection he could be confronted with why he “acted” like he didn’t. You see detailed facts can be used to turn up the heat, but they must be provable to draw the rest of the truth into the open.

The ropes are a good connection possibly the best evidence the case has to this day. The night I was referring to was the following night not the night of the disappearances. There was a group of people in the basement there according to the conversation heard the following days after the 3 were reported missing. The ropes show a connection but not a location for sure. The door could have been left unlocked but it still doesn’t keep me from asking the question.

Lewiston (whoever the 8 assigned to the case at the time were. I’m not sure. This is hearsay so my details are vague, but my source is reliable.

I think if he was found alive the 2 murders of the girls would be instantly solved. My thoughts are this: If he was killed why put him in a place hidden away rather than just dump him with the other two? My real speculation was about any cases where something identical to this happened and was solved in a few years. The ropes are definitely connected to the theater and so was Steve, but there was no proof that a crime took place at the theater or at either apartment. I personally think he could be alive and did not act alone but that’s just speculation. If his body was found that would also help solve this case fairly quick. The ropes (I am guessing) were a spare length of rope left over from the set of Pirates of Penzance. Steven and the POI had just built a pirate ship that rolled in on dolly wheels carrying about 12 actors. There were two slide down ropes and a swing rope. When Steve went missing he had just completed a paper mache figurehead on the ship and the rest of the ship had not been painted yet. The ship and the ropes were roughed in at that time so the scenes could be choreographed. If these ropes were spare length from the set ropes they would be a thick rope that had been handled by both Pearsall and the POI. What I wonder is if anyone else’s fibers or anyone at all were on the ropes when they were found. This may be just another dead end, but every lead should be exhausted. If there was another case that looked just like, and I mean just like this one that had been solved it would give a motive for why they found 2 and not 3 bodies. Sometimes case studies help in speculation.

Theories establish motive but require more time than I think the POI had. Theory #1 works but does not line up with other profiles. Killers who return to dumpsites to relive their crimes pick more private areas (Ted Bundy used old logging roads in remote areas.) The bodies were next to the road out in the open where any movement could be seen.

Theory #2 would be convincing but POI would have messed up somewhere in that process and physical evidence would be there to prove it. I also believe POI would have gotten rid of the clarinet and planned a better alibi that didn’t place him at the actual scene.

First time I heard about the girlfriend dropping him off, but as for the light it wasn’t always on and it wasn’t sufficient to identify a person entering from that far away. If the girlfriend was sure about the time I don’t doubt her. The statement I had a problem with was a police officer driving by saw him enter. Does anyone know if the officer said he saw the girlfriend leaving? This is new to me.

That is good to know. I’ll take your word for it. I see a lot of dis similarities in all these cases with one common denominator that is circumstantial, too circumstantial for most but still circumstantial. There is a retired detective in Texas that worked on these cases and thinks at least one is unrelated. Since circumstances are leading to dead ends I think it would be smart to focus on the case with the most evidence and the worst alibis, review what we do know and search for physical evidence. Was the Civic Theater ever forensically investigated and established as a crime scene in the 80’s? If not they should do everything they can now.

To my knowledge Steve was a gentle soul. Quiet creative and funny. I think if Steve were alive he probably would have been found by now. He would have gotten comfortable and slipped up because there was never any heat for him and there isn’t now. As soon as they find his body it will completely eliminate any theories about him being involved.

I wish I had a simple yes or no for that one. The truth is I don’t know and I’m not sure I could find out from a direct source. If there were 2 stores that is new news to me, If you know more about this please share. If there was a company delivery van it needs to be found and checked. That would be a possible lead to follow that might go somewhere. To my knowledge the POI never owned a van and was not a person to ask to borrow anyone’s vehicle. A delivery van could be a link if the company owned one. If they did have one I wonder if it was brown. I feel like you can find out. Please let me know.

Dear Justice Seeker, Crescent Crow, Mabel, and Kline. Just want to clarify: I am NOT the POI. I am not your enemy either. I want answers too. I am asking questions from every angle to better explore every angle.

Kline I think you are right about your facts but I’m not sure about your speculations.

Justice seeker I trust you as being honest and I may contact you sometime for a more direct conversation. For now I will stick to the posts.

Crescent Crow and Mabel I want you to know that your family has my greatest empathy and you are always in my thoughts and prayers.

To anyone reading this from Steve’s family: Please please please do not take any speculations about him personal. I am simply exploring possibilities and looking at facts. I am not out to demean anyone’s memories of his character DON’T want to believe he was involved, and you too will always be in my thoughts and prayers.

I can’t help my dialect in comments or who they might sound like, I just wanted to clarify that so you know where my heart is in all this. – Curious

According to the stepson he didn’t hear anything strange. He was inside the house and Christina had gone out on the porch to wait for her mother. According to him the suspect was not even there, and it was the stepson who gave her a dampened washcloth.(not a towel) to cool her forehead. He does not know why the suspect ever claimed to be there (He thinks the suspect might have been mixed up being interviewed years later.)

She gave him the washcloth back after calling her mother, she went out on the porch, then approximately 2 hours later the mother knocked on the door looking for her. There was a neighbor at home that might have been interviewed that might have seen or heard something. Her name was Esther Jones. I doubt she’s still alive. She was very old at the time but had very keen senses for her age.

I know this doesn’t add up with other accounts, and the stepson was only 10, but he maintains to this day that he was the only one in the house at that time on that day, and he has a very detailed account having a very clear memory and after going through that day over and over in his mind trying to figure something that could have helped that he was missing.

No known access to any van of any color. Wish I could help. The POI didn’t have but a few friends he would have been close enough to ask to borrow a vehicle and none of them owned vans.

Then this post by “Reichert” appeared from the same location:

The stepson moved directly from the house in Asotin to the apartment on 10th st. The dome was not finished enough for him to move in for another year. He had already changed schools in anticipation of the Dome house getting completed sooner. He moved back to Asotin when the grandmother moved in to her dome (which was finished first). He was helping take care of her. I have talked with the stepson and he harbors no ill will toward anyone from Asotin. Distance prevents social contact, but he says even through the rough of it he loved Asotin and it’s people. He was 10 and Chris White could have kicked his butt at the time.

After a lull in postings, beginning on September 7, 2009, the posts from Curious resumed again.

He did not live at 503 2nd St. He did live on 3rd street at the time. The stepson was not his stepson yet at this time.

I have seen the “things” the stepson paints All of it. Out of all of it there is one bike tank with a dark look to it. It’s only associated with evil because of how you see it. It has a snake with ribs. It has not and never will be put on a bike. He uses it as a sermon illustration about how our culture is fascinated with death, but how no one really likes its reality. Interesting that of all the painting there at that website it’s the ONLY one YOU thought worthy of mention. Maybe it worked at getting your attention too. Nothing evil satanic, or demonic there just one thing associated with death. He explains that death is only scary and dark if you don’t know God. There’s also another tank he uses with an American flag and the soldiers at Iwo Jima where he talks about people who were willing to die for what they believe in. He also tells them that Jesus died for what He believed in, and what He believed in was YOU.

Anyone reading this sight can view this artwork on line at [Altered Dimensions note: this domain has since been taken down] and feel free to pass judgment on any one they like. After all we are all entitled to our opinions, whether there’s any truth to them or not.

I would also like to say the stepson does paint things like fire, skulls etc. He does draw the line at anything demonic, profane or pornographic. You cannot talk him into it or pay him enough money. He just won’t do it. Everything painted that’s not religious or patriotic (other than the snake tank) was done by customers request and not by his personal preference, although I have seen him turn away work that was too dark, racy or otherwise distasteful. There is a standard he follows, he doesn’t force others to follow it or judge them for not following it. He just draws the line at a certain point and does not cross it based on personal convictions.

Alleged photo of Lance Jeffrey Voss during a play at the Lewiston Civic TheatreQuestions were asked, but years later. What is remembered about the White case is that the stepson went to the mud races at the Asotin County Fair on Sunday with his real dad, and the suspect thought he too had gone missing and came to the fair (accompanied by Sheriff’s deputies) and found him. He remembers the suspect being relieved to have found him there OK. He was on his motorcycle with Sheriffs car behind him. The stepson didn’t know at the time that Chritina White was still missing .He thought she might be with a friend or something, and he left the house with his dad without leaving a note, and that had caused panic.

In the Lewiston case, all he remembers is that nothing seemed wrong or out of place until the time it was discovered that people were missing. His family all liked Steve and expressed worries about him, the suspect even asked mutual friends if they had seen him anywhere, but nothing was unusual to him from his memory of those days that would make him suspect the POI.

Nothing I wrote about the stepsons artwork was aimed at these victims or their families. I just know the stepson and his motives. He takes death very seriously and if anything hopes that no one takes it lightly. I was simply explaining the purpose of that piece of art having a dark look to it as he explained it to me.

No religious high horse here, sorry I wrote it at all. My intent was to tell the purpose of that piece. I feel under the circumstances that the stepson has been treated unfairly by many, but he doesn’t hold any grudges because he wants the truth himself just like you do, and he realizes that people will think things and sometimes be mistaken in their search for the truth. He still thinks them finding the truth will be worth any pain it has caused him when it’s all said and done.

Once again I apologize, and want you to know I meant no disrespect to the victims, their families, or any one else dealing with tragedy.

After subtle accusations that Curious was not who he claimed to be, the postings from Curious stopped.  Forum members attempt to prod “curious” into posting again.

If I need to be pointed into another direction I would appreciate knowing. You keep saying that you have a reliable source.

Curious, Would you respond?

Curious, I tend to agree with this. I am tired of playing paddy cake with you. I am not a stupid woman and I could throw you under the bus but I haven’t. I am giving it some serious thought. So my suggestion to you is to believe in your faith and contact me. Does “I have wanted to talk to a family member of one of the victims” sound familiar? It should.

Sounds to me like you are doing pranks that are worthy of a teenager. Trouble controlling your impulses or just feeling like being a dumb ass?

Hey, “Voss the terrible” have you burned and pillaged any villages lately?

Curious, You have been very quiet. I left a message for you on another board. Come on dance with me. Check me out to see if I pass your intelligence test.

The silence from you is very telling, curious.

I agree that ‘curious’ is definitely being posted by Clint Clarneau, the stepson. He changed his alias to Reichert, but the only listing in TN is 10 yrs younger than his schoolmate of the same name. He called me Mike Bacon out of the blue? Nobody could have made that connection but Clint himself. Also, Clint is the only one that could have seen all of his own artwork. LOL But his feigned lament and morbid curiosity over the crime scene photos is disconcerting. Why didn’t he post comments as himself?

I believe that “Curious” is Clint, but the writing style of Reichert seems to be more like Voss. He posted in Google blogs and if you do a search in Google blogs you can read those.

Notable newspaper articles

Spokane Daily Chronicle - April 27, 1989Spokane Daily Chronicle – October 30, 1981

4 Women ‘approached’

LEWISTON, Idaho (UPI)__ Police say they have received reports that at least four women may have been approached by a man suspected in the grisly slaying of a 22-year-old woman last summer.

Capt. Rod Frederiksen said Thursday he took telephone calls from four women who “indicated they had been contacted by the suspect” in the June dismemberment killing of University of Idaho student Kristin David.

The calls were made in response to a plea by Lewiston investigators for information in the case, Frederiksen said.

“Several of the women gave descriptions of the man that contacted them which matches the description of the suspect,” Frederiksen said. he said the callers also provided information about other aspects of the investigation, but he declined to give details.

The investigator did say the information received this week gave city and county lawmen and FBI agents some “good, healthy leads to follow.”

Frederiksen said the women who called authorities after the plea was issued early in the week had not called before because they “hadn’t tied the two incidents together.”

A man from Genesee told investigators in early July that he had seen a man in a brown van with Oregon license plates stop to help a young woman who matched Ms. David’s description.

The woman disappeared after she left on a bicycle trip between Moscow and Lewiston June 26.

Eight days later, pieces of her body were found in the Snake River near Clarkston, Wash.

Television show to revisit Lewiston Civic Theatre murders

Investigation Discovery’s ‘Dark Minds’ will feature many mysterious cases.
Lewiston Tribune

April 9, 2014

Christina White, 12, was last seen at a friend’s Asotin house in the spring of 1979.

Jackie Nichols became an Asotin County sheriff’s detective in 2007. She took an interest in the case of the girl who disappeared three decades earlier.

“Initially, the case file, no one knew where it was,” she said.

Nichols found the file, dusted it off, studied it and began piecing together the evidence.

She dedicated time each week to familiarizing herself with the case, organizing the file and considering fresh avenues to investigate. “I wanted to take another look at it, and using newer technology, get an idea of what could be done,” she said.

The case is the starting point for an episode of Investigation Discovery’s “Dark Minds,” a true-crime program that will feature a series of Lewiston-Clarkston Valley murders and missing person cases. Investigation Discovery is channel 355 for Cable One digital subscribers. It airs at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. on channel 285 on DirecTV.

In her seven years on the case, tips have led Nichols to property searches in Asotin.

She used cadaver dogs to search the Lewiston Civic Theatre, where three people were last seen before they were reported missing in September 1982. The bodies of two of the missing persons, 18-year-old Jacqueline Miller and her 21-year-old stepsister, Kristina Nelson, were discovered two years later near Kendrick. Steven Pearsall, 35, who was at the theater the night the girls went missing, has not been seen since that night.

In another case, Kristen David, 22, disappeared near Genesee in 1981 while riding her bike between Moscow and Lewiston. Her dismembered body was found in garbage bags under the Red Wolf Crossing Bridge. Her killer has not been found.

Although police and investigators freely use the name of a suspect who now lives outside the area, according to police, he was never officially charged.

“That’s all he is, is a suspect,” Lewiston Police Capt. Tom Greene said. “There’s no other suspect. If Steven Pearsall would surface, he’d become a suspect pretty rapidly.”

In an effort to locate Pearsall, or his remains, detectives a few years ago followed a lead to the Tri-Cities.

“It ended up a dead end,” Greene said. “If new information comes up, we act on it.”

Nichols’ motivation is to find remains of the two missing victims and provide closure to the parents and relatives who are still alive.

“Finding answers for them,” she said. “They don’t know what happened to their loved ones.”

NCDOT worker finds body on side of road

by Staff

Posted on April 11, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Updated yesterday at 5:21 PM

ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. — A North Carolina Department of Transportation worker came across a grisly discovery Friday morning.

The Alamance County Sheriff’s Office says the NCDOT worker found a partially-decomposed body in a large storage container on the side of the roadway Friday around 9 a.m.

The discovery was made on Bellemont-Mount Hermon Road near the intersection of Southern High School Road, south of Graham, North Carolina.

Authorities say the body is that of a female with short brown hair, who stood between 5-foot and 5-foot-2 and weighing about 125 pounds. The deceased has two tattoos, according to the Sheriff’s Office; the first is on her chest and is of an eagle with an open wing span. The second, on her left upper arm, a cross with a half moon with the word “Mom” above it.

There was no identification with the body, and authorities are working to identify the deceased.

The Alamance County Sheriff’s Office says they have no missing persons reports that match this description.

Northern Idaho authorities not ready to drop 1981 dismemberment case

LEWISTON, Idaho — Kristin David disappeared in June 1981 while riding her bicycle from Moscow to Clarkston, and about a week later the dismembered body of the 22-year-old University of Idaho student was found in the Snake River.

Now, authorities in northern Idaho say they hope advances in technology will help solve what happened to David, a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and political science.

“We continue to look at this,” FBI Special Agent Ron Miller told the Lewiston Tribune. “It’s not just something that’s sitting around. We continue to investigate it.”

He said evidence was reprocessed last year by the FBI lab, but he declined to say if any new clues were discovered, because the case is still active.

No arrests have been made in an investigation that included law enforcement officials from at least two cities, four counties and two states. The FBI took over the case because of all the jurisdictions involved.

Law enforcement officials who investigated David’s death say it still haunts them.

“The thing I remember is how frightening it was,” said Michael Goetz, who at the time had just started his second term as sheriff of Latah County and had two small daughters. “I went home that night and, … you don’t sleep good.”

Goetz resigned later that fall in 1981 and took a law enforcement job in Tacoma, Wash. Now 58 and still living in Tacoma, he said he still thinks of David when he hears of a drifter being arrested in a similar case.

At the time of David’s disappearance, a possible witness, under hypnosis, said he saw a man in a dark brown van with Oregon license plates that apparently had stopped to help a young woman on a bike on U.S. 95.

Police began stopping brown vans, prompting one man to quit driving his because he had been pulled over so often.

Some authorities think David’s disappearance could be tied to the disappearance of four others.

Christina White, 12, disappeared from the Asotin County Fair on April 28, 1979, and her whereabouts is unknown.

In September 1982, three people went missing from the vicinity of the Lewiston Civic Theatre, where David had worked at one time.

The bodies of stepsisters Kristina Nelson, 21, and Jacqueline (Brandi) Miller, 18, were found in March 1984 at the bottom of a steep embankment near Kendrick.

The body of the third person, Steven Pearsall, 35, has never been found and police say he is likely dead.

Authorities also note that three of the four female victims had similar names: Kristin, Christina and Kristina.

“Three of the four, all about the same height, same name, you kind of start looking at that like, yeah, maybe,” said Willie Russell, 65, a Lewiston police detective at the time.

Authorities had suspects, but have never charged anyone. Russell thinks all five disappearances are connected.

“What you think and what you can prove are two different things,” he said.

Don Schoeffler, a former Lewiston police detective who worked the cases, disagrees.

“Not the same killer,” said Schoeffler, 62, who now lives in Yuma, Ariz.

Schoeffler flew to Texas and then Florida to talk with people who confessed to killing sprees, but came away satisfied they had no connection to David’s death.

“We lived and breathed those cases,” Schoeffler said. “And to this day, it still bothers us.”

David’s father lives in Kelso, Wash.

“There’s not much you can say,” he said. “I’m 75 years old now. I was always hoping it would be solved before I left.”

Comment from reader(s) familiar with the case

I received the following email from a reader who casts doubt on Voss as the killer in the Kristen David (the writer misspells her name “Davis”) case.

I’m familiar with these cases, having lived in Genesee as well as Lewiston Idaho, and I’ve never thought the Kristen Davis case fit with the others, her murder was horrific, and brutal, if memory serves Voss neither owned a van nor fit the physical description given by the young man in Genesee Idaho. And the rumors were, she was dismembered at the Sacajawea Motel..not exactly something a local  man would do. Especially given the small size of the motel. Anyhoo, just my two cents

Sources: Discovery Channel’s Dark Minds, Moscow-Pullman Daily News (June 5, 1990), Spokane Chronicle (March 25, 1985), True Crime Diary, KREM, Confluence documentary, Dark Minds documentary, Family Web, Find a Grave,, My Life of Crime, CNN, Topix forums, Seattle Times, KXLY TV, Reddit, Regator, AP News
3 thoughts on “Lewis-Clark Valley Serial Killer – 35 years later, frustrated police believe they know who killer is but lack evidence to make arrest”
  1. I am doing a exhibit/paper type of project for school and I chose “The Snake River Killer” and I would like to interview someone who knows more about this. Or someone who lives in that area and can tell me what impact this had on the community. Email me at

    Thanks 😀

  2. The only suspect in Patricia Otto’s case is her husband. After she vanished he was discovered to have her wedding rings in his coat pocket.

    Patricia was last seen in Lewiston, Idaho late in the evening on September 2, 1976. She got into an argument with her husband, Ralph Otto, and left the house angrily. She never returned.

    Ralph didn’t report her missing; her sister did, on October 8, more than a month after she was last seen. Patricia left behind all her belongings, including her car and her wedding rings, which she normally didn’t remove. The rings were found in Ralph’s coat pocket, but they have since been lost.

    Patricia and Ralph’s marriage was difficult and she had left on her own before. She filed for divorce in the spring of 1976, but later reconciled with her husband. They were fighting at the time of her disappearance because he believed she was unfaithful to him.

    Authorities theorize she was murdered, and Ralph is the prime suspect in her disappearance. Less than a year after she vanished, he was convicted of hiring a contract killer to murder the lead investigator in Patricia’s disappearance. The verdict was overturned on a technicality in 1981, however. Ralph died of a heart attack a few years later, while in jail on an unrelated charge.

    Patricia left behind two young daughters who were raised by their paternal aunt and uncle. One of her daughters is now deceased. Her case remains unsolved and foul play is suspected.

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