Unsolved: Hayward woman vanishes in 1971

- She was six months out of high school, just starting college and about to start a new job. 19-year-old Christine Eastin, "Christy," as everyone called her, had saved up enough money to buy some boots that she wanted. So she phoned her friend Sandy to go shopping with her at Mervyn's on the night of Jan. 18, 1971.

"We went to Mervyn's, we got the boots, she dropped me off at 9:30, and before she left she said, 'I'm going to go wash the car,' " said Sandy Lemmon.

The car was a blue 1969 Ford Maverick, with its signature long hood, fastback roof and short deck. The car in question belonged to Christy's ex-boyfriend.

"I know they dated for a while, and she really, really liked him," Lemmon said.

Christy drove back to her house in a middle-class neighborhood in Hayward and took a shower. She told her family she planned to stop by a car wash before picking up her ex-boyfriend at a Jack in the Box restaurant where he worked.

She never showed up. Her ex-boyfriend called her house, asking if they knew where she was.

Concerned family went to look for her.

What they found early the next morning was the blue Maverick - still wet - at Charlie's Car Wash on Mission Boulevard in Hayward.

"The car was parked by the vacuum cleaners, and her purse and scarf were on the front seat, and the car was locked," said Victoria Cordova, Christy's sister.

Papers from inside the car were on the ground, as if there had been a struggle.

But where was Christy?

January 1971. Nixon was president, and Reagan was governor. It was a different era.

"Everyone was kind of footloose and fancy-free and kind of taking off in their what, Volkswagen buses," Cordova said with a laugh.

So when Christy disappeared, some at the Hayward Police Department simply thought she may have just taken off.

But Christy was set to start a new job at a bank the next day. She was also taking classes at Chabot College.

Christy had graduated six months earlier from Sunset High in Hayward, where she was a song girl, acted in school plays and was popular on campus.

"Just very sweet," said friend Judy Verhoek. "Just a gentle spirit, very kind."

Christy didn't hang out with the wrong crowd and didn't do drugs.

Verhoek feared that Christy, by herself at the car wash, could have been vulnerable to someone with bad intentions

"I just always felt that she would be a sitting duck, you know?" Verhoek said. "She was so pretty and striking."

Simon Flores was homecoming king to Christy's queen their senior year.

"Christina was a beautiful young lady," Flores said. "She was like a Barbie doll."

And Flores agrees it's possible someone could have seen her as an attractive target.

"I think somebody sort of stumbled upon her, somehow," Flores said.

Former Hayward police officer Dave Legro responded to the car wash back in 1971 and saw the Ford Maverick in the parking lot.

"To me, it looked like it was staged," Legro said.

Legro, now retired, says this case has bothered him ever since.

He says somebody may have tried to make it look like Christy was kidnapped.

"The papers on the ground looked like it was for dramatic appeal," Legro said.

It turns out, there was some drama at the time Christy disappeared.

Christy desperately wanted to get back together with her ex-boyfriend.

"It sounded like he was ready to move on, and she wasn't," Lemmon said.

Perhaps the reason why?

"I learned that she might have been pregnant," Legro said.

Cordova said, 'Very possibly, she could have maybe said, you know, 'I'm pregnant or something, you've got to be with me' or maybe things got out of hand that way."

At the Hayward Police Department, Christy is the oldest missing-persons case.

"We would love to get closure on this case," said Capt. Jason Martinez, who oversees investigations.

He said of Christy's ex-boyfriend, "We've pretty much eliminated him as a suspect."

Police have chased down rumors and leads and have come up empty.

"There are a variety of different theories behind the case, however nothing substantial that we can absolutely pinpoint and say, 'This is what i think happened,' " Martinez said.

Christy's mom died, never knowing what happened to her daughter. After so many years, family and loved ones are still wondering, what happened to Christy and why?

Sighing, Cordova said, "I don't know. I have gone over, I bet you, a trillion scenarios in the last 47 years."

And after 47 years, Cordova hopes somebody out there has the answers

"Please, come forward. We just need to put this to rest," Cordova said, her voice breaking. "It's been such a burden for so many years."

Cordova has set up a Gofundme account for donations to assist in an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Scott Dudek at (925) 852-4204.

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