Christie Farni still missing, police pursue new information

Medford, Ore. — In Medford, only one missing child case is still open. It’s the oldest in the county. And while the nearly 40 year old case is considered cold, police are still pursuing leads, even now.

” Is it possible to abduct and murder a child and then hide the body,” Lieutenant Mike Budreau of the Medford Police Department says, “it is possible, but usually something would turn up and nothing has.”

Christie Farni went missing  December 14th, 1978. The then 6-year-old had just been placed into foster care at a home on Peach Street, while in the middle of an assault investigation involving her father.

“Grand jury occurred the day she went missing,” Lt. Budreau says.

When child protective services brought her back to her foster home, she got ready for school.

“It was a gift exchange that day, so Christie even had a little present wrapped up and she was then to walk to school, all the way to Jackson School and that’s what’s a little bit odd about the case,” Budreau says.

Her foster mom, who was recovering from surgery watched Christie walk toward 4th Street until she was out of sight.

Christie never made it to school that day, and has never been seen again.

It’s a case that’s been looked at by Medford Police year after year. Christie’s father, Ken, a primary suspect. But he passed 2 lie detector tests.

“We investigated him very thoroughly and never came up with anything that led us to believe that he would be responsible,” Budreau says.

Ken died in 1994.

So what happened to Christie Farni? Police have 2 theories; that family who wanted to remove her from a bad situation abducted her, or Christie was taken by a total stranger.

And while today, her case file is showing it’s age, police are not giving up.

“It’s just another shot in the dark that we’re hoping for,” Budreau says.

In the last month, the agency submitted DNA samples to Ancestry.com to try and find additional family.

And while nearly 4 decades have passed since that 6 year old took off for school on a Thursday afternoon, police still hold out hope that some day she’ll come home.

“We still believe that she could be alive and living under a different name and simply has no recollection of what happened in Medford.”

Christie Farni would be 45 years old today. She has brown hair and brown eyes with pierced ears and a burn scar on her chest.

If you have any information on her whereabouts you’re asked to contact police.

Kristin Hosfelt anchors NBC5 News at 6 with NBC5 News Director Craig Smullin. Kristin is originally from the Bay Area. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from San Jose State University.

She comes to KOBI-TV/NBC5 from Bangor, Maine where she was the evening news anchor. Kristin has won multiple journalism awards including Best Feature Reporting in the State of Maine.

When Kristin is not sharing the news she's hunting down the best burrito, hiking a local trail or buried in a Jodi Picoult novel. She's also a Green Bay Packers shareholder! If you see her out and about she'd be happy to tell you how a California girl became a Cheesehead.

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