HAYWARD (KRON) — “This is Highland School Elementary up in the Hayward hills, where Christy and I were in first grade together. And, there she is, and that was 1959,” said Judy Verhoek, friend of Christine Eastin, who went missing 49 years ago.
She’s referencing a photo taken of Eastin in 1959.
Twelve years after the photo was taken, 19-year-old Christine Eastin disappeared in Hayward.
The case was initially thought to be a runaway — later determined to be a missing person.
Her childhood friend, Verhoek is still in pain.
“We all think about her more at the anniversary,” she said. “And even though it’s been a very long time, we always hope that somebody out there who knows something, would see the value of coming forward so that there’s some peace — some measure of peace, you know, for the family and the friends.”
Verhoek says 49 years ago this Saturday, Eastin used a friend’s car to go shopping at night with another friend to buy clothes for a new job she was starting the next day.
She was a student at Chabot College at the time.
Police later found the car she was driving parked at what was Charlie’s Car Wash back then at 25400 Mission Boulevard in Hayward, which is now a used car lot.
Verhoek says she planned on washing the car before returning it.
Eastin wasn’t there and hasn’t been seen since that night in 1971.
“There’s signs of foul play in her disappearance, so we have an assigned detective still investigating her disappearance,” said Detective Claudia Mau.
Eastin’s older sister Victoria lives in Idaho now, but tells KRON4 she’s grateful police have never closed this case.
So is Verhoek — who never believed the happy girl she grew up with ever ran off.
“When I’ve gone over it, in my mind, over and over, I just know she would never have done that to her mother,” Verhoek said. “To leave her worrying about what happened to her, and her mother lived 14 years after this happened without ever knowing what happened to her daughter.”
Police are offering a $50,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in this case.