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Christopher Byers, also known as Christopher Murray, was born on June 23rd, 1984. Christopher, known to family and friends as "Chris" was one of three murder victims in the "Robin Hood Hills Child Murders" case. He lived with his mother, Melissa Byers, and stepfather, John Mark Byers. Chris had an older half-brother named Ryan Clark who was 13 years old when the murders occurred. He was a second-grader at Weaver Elementary School. Chris had recently befriended Michael Moore and Stevie Branch.
By May of 1993, Chris was experiencing problems as a result of hyperactivity disorder. Though he was medicated, his doctors were unable to determine why his behavior was not improving. It is unknown if he went home on May 5th after school; however, Pam Hobbs stated that Chris came over to her house at approximately 3:30p.m., looking for Stevie. Stevie had already left to ride bikes with Michael and so Chris remained at the Hobbs' residence and watched an episode of "Muppet Babies" with Amanda. Chris left the home at 4p.m. Various sightings of Chris throughout the afternoon and early evening of May 5th suggest that he met up with Stevie and Michael before he was found riding his skateboard, belly down, on North 14th Street. His father took him home, spanked him, and gave him instructions to clean the family carport. John Mark Byers left Christopher at home with his mother when he went to pick up his elder son, Ryan, from court. Ryan was testifying in a wreckless driving case at the county courthouse.
Melissa Byers stated that the last time she saw Chris was at about 5:45p.m. on May 5th. He was outside cleaning up the carport and had come into the house a couple of times. He left the home and met up with Stevie and Michael as indicated by a number of neighborhood sightings of the three boys. The last known sighting of Chris occurred at 7p.m. as reported by Chris Wahl.
Chris was found nude and hogtied in a drainage ditch inside of Robinhood Hills woods. It appeared he had suffered terrible injuries, including castration. Subsequent experts would later contend that the castration occurred as a result of animal predation; however, this remains a matter of speculation as no one has yet proven precisely how he acquired the injury. His body was found near Stevie Branch's, south of Michael Moore. The medical examiner, Frank Peretti, eventually testified that time of death was between 1a.m. and 5a.m.
Last Known Sightings
- 3:30-4pm - Goes to Stevie's house to watch Muppet Babies with Amanda in the Den (per Pam's statement to police as well as her interview with Dimension Films). Michael and Stevie had just left the house.
- 4-4:15pm - Gregory Quirt reports seeing Stevie and Michael with a bunch of other boys. He says they told him they were going "riding" http://callahan.8k.com/wm3/img/q_gregory_statement.html Quirt described seeing 3 boys on 2 bikes (unconfirmed as to whether the 3rd boy on the bike was Chris).
- 5:15pm - (approx.) David Jacoby states that he saw Stevie and two boys pass by outside of him home.
- 5:00-5:30pm - Jeff Martins/Betty Lou Martins - see 4 boys (3 on two bikes, and 1 walking). Identified Chris, Michael, and Stevie. The approximate distance from the Hobbs' house (near Jacoby's house) and the Martins' house on 719 Wilson is half a mile.
- 5:30pm - Melissa Byers testified that Mark Byers found Chris "laying flat on his stomach on a skateboard going down the middle of the street". Byers brought Chris home for a spanking and then gave him instructions to clean the carport. Byers left the home to pick up Ryan from court.
- 5:45pm - Melissa states she looked out the window and saw Chris under the carport. This is the last time she sees him.
- 5:45-6pm - Debra O'Tinger says the boys meet up in her yard and eventually go into the woods via Goodwin.
- 6:00pm - Dana Moore saw three boys on two bikes on N 14th.
- 6-6:30pm - Chris, Michael, and Stevie are seen playing in the Clark's backyard (a few houses down from the Hobbs' house). Jamie Clark Ballard stated that she heard Terry Hobbs call Stevie back to the house.
- 6-6:30pm - All three boys are seen by Cindy Rico. She said she saw them by "the drainage ditch down past Blue Beacon down by the bridge." http://callahan.8k.com/images2/c_rico/rico_c_statement.jpg
- 6:45pm - (questionable sighting) Bryan Woody said he saw 4 boys playing on Goodwin (not confirmed as Stevie, Michael, and Chris)
- 7pm - Chris Wahl says he saw Christopher and Stevie riding bikes. He refers to one boys as a blond. It was 7pm because Chris Wahl got out of night school at that time and saw the boys after class let out. The boys were going toward Robin Hood woods. He reported that it was beginning to get dark. He was polygraphed about involvement and did not indicate deception to questions asking if he was involved. http://callahan.8k.com/wm3/img/c_wahl_notes.html