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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

What Happened to Kristi Richardson?

     In 1979, Ronald Richardson and his wife Kristi started the Richardson Trucking Company, a Casper, Wyoming business that specialized in the transportation of oil and gas industry equipment.

     On April 29, 2013, Ronald Richardson, at age 63, died. Kristi, his 60-year-old widow, took control of the company. She resided in an affluent suburb of Casper, a city of 55,000 in the central part of the state that had become the center of a booming oil and gas industry that had brought crime and violence to a community with a traditionally low crime rate.

     Late in the afternoon of October 6, 2014, Kristi Richardson drove to her daughter Amber's house a block from her residence to drop off a birthday card and visit her grandchildren. At seven-forty that evening, she took a routine call from one of her drivers. The next call, one made to Kristi's cellphone at eleven that night, went unanswered.

     The next morning, when Kristi Richardson didn't show up for work at the trucking company, an employee called the house. When no one picked up the phone, the employee notified the owner's daughter.

     Because all of the doors were locked at Kristi's house, her daughter gained entry into the dwelling by using a garage door opener. Kristi's car sat in the garage and her purse, containing her credit cards and $800 in cash, lay on the kitchen counter.

     In the bedroom, Amber found her mother's cellphone lying on the bed. The only items missing from the home were Kristi's garage door opener and a hoodie she regularly wore. The daughter reported her mother missing to the Casper Police Department.

     Over the next several days, officers with the Casper Police Department, Natrona County Sheriff's Office, fire and EMS personnel, and citizen volunteers searched for the missing woman. The authorities used a helicopter to search parts of Casper Mountain.

     Members of Kristi's family, who believed she had been the victim of foul play because she never left the house without her car, posted a $25,000 reward for information regarding her disappearance and whereabouts. Kristi's daughter told a reporter that "I believe someone was at the house before she got home."

     The Casper Star Tribune reported that crime scene investigators had found traces of blood and urine on the missing woman's bed. Detectives were looking into the possibility that Kristi had been abducted and murdered by either an employee, customer, or business competitor.

    In February 2015, Casper police officers executed a search warrant on a credit report of a man who wanted to have a romantic relationship with the missing woman. Prior to the search, detectives had interrogated this man as a "person of interest."

     As of January 2017, Richardson remained missing and no arrests have been made in the case. The missing woman's family has offered a $250.000 reward for information regarding her disappearance. 

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