Kristen Modafferi vanished without a trace from downtown San Francisco: Crime Junkie investiagtes

a close up of Kristen Modafferi posing for a family pic
Kristen Modafferi has been missing for over 25 years. Pic credit: FBI

Crime Junkie is examining the strange disappearance of teenager Kristen Modafferi, who was last seen at her workplace in San Francisco, California.

In the summer of 1997, Kristen flew from her home in Charlotte, North Carolina, to the Bay Area to enroll in a photography course at UC Berkeley. She left on the day of her 18th birthday, and 23 days later, she vanished without a trace.

Kristen began working at a coffee shop inside the Crocker Galleria Mall in downtown San Francisco. She commuted every morning from a rented property in Oakland to the coffee shop. After work, she tried to explore all the Bay Area had to offer.

On June 23, 1997, she was finishing up her shift when she asked her colleagues for directions to Land’s End beach. The detectives later thought her request was strange as she had been to that beach for a party a couple of days earlier. Her colleagues also stated she was noncommital about going there.

A few days later, Kristen’s roommates contacted her parents to say they hadn’t seen her in three days. She didn’t turn up for her next shift at the coffee shop and she wasn’t at her first class in the photography course.

Kristen’s family later claimed the search was hampered because she had just turned 18 and was classed as an adult who may have willingly disappeared rather than a child who was in danger.

Kristen Modafferi was seen speaking to a mystery blonde woman

A colleague told the police that they had seen Kristen about 30 minutes after she’d left work, still in the mall talking with a blonde woman. This was also considered odd, as Kristen usually left the area immediately after she finished work. The colleague did not recognize the woman, and despite multiple appeals for her to come forward, she has never been identified.

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A sniffer dog picked up Kristen’s scent, heading west along Geary Street into San Francisco’s gritty Tenderloin district. This would have been consistent with her walking to the bus that would take her to Land’s End.

However, detectives don’t believe Kristen ended up in Land’s End. About three weeks after the disappearance, a man telephoned a local TV station claiming he knew what happened to her. He said two “jealous lesbians” had killed Kristen in a car in the Castro district before driving over the Golden Gate Bridge and dumping her body “by a wooden bridge on the way to Point Reyes.”

The caller actually named the two women, and the police tracked them down. Detectives immediately dismissed them as the killers.

Police suspect Kristen Modafferi remains may have been dumped in Marin County

However, Detective Patrick Mahanay of the Oakland PD told SF Gate that he suspects there was an element of truth to the call. He believes it is possible Kristin was abducted, killed, and dumped in Marin County on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Mahanay told a reporter, “I’d say she was dumped off a bridge in Marin County.”

In 2017, Kristen’s sister, Lauren Modafferi, told the press, “When I think about 20 years having gone by, I feel quite robbed on having missed out on the experience and Kristen not being here, part of our family, for the beautiful milestones in our lives.”

The FBI is also investigating the case. They have said there was no evidence to suggest Kristin was the victim of foul play.

MISSING: Kristen Modafferi is available to download now at Crime Junkie.

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