Murder victim Christie Wilson’s remains recovered in Placer County |

Murder victim Christie Wilson’s remains recovered in Placer County

It took nearly 15 years — but family members of murder victim Christie Wilson finally have the answer to a long-standing mystery.

On Monday, the Placer County Sheriff’s and District Attorney’s offices released a joint statement that Wilson’s remains had been uncovered at the former residence of Mario Flavio Garcia.

Garcia, of Auburn, was convicted of first-degree murder in 2006 after Christie Wilson, 27, was last seen with Garcia as they left the Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln on Oct. 5. 2005.

Despite extensive searches throughout Placer and Nevada counties, Wilson’s remains had not been found.

Efforts to find her remains have been ongoing, according to Monday’s press release.

Over a period of four days last week, detectives with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office and investigators with the Placer County District Attorney’s Office conducted additional searches at Garcia’s former residence in Auburn. They scanned the four-and-a-half-acre lot using Ground Penetrating Radar technology and identified several areas of interest. Skeletal remains were located and taken to the Placer County Morgue for examination, and dental records confirmed the remains are those of Christie Wilson, the release stated.

Six weeks after Wilson’s disappearance, a search crew looking for her body found a bag containing “bondage” items in a field outside Spenceville in Yuba County, The Union reported at the time. The bag contained rope, packaging tape and a small rubber ball attached to a leather strap. The bag also contained strands of hair that were later linked to Wilson. The items were found in the 18,000-acre Spenceville Wildlife Area. Investigators speculated Garcia could have gone to that area with Wilson, then traveled through Nevada County south to Auburn.

As part of the search, the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office organized a group of 68 volunteers who worked with Placer County deputies to comb the area around the upper part of Scotts Flat Lake. No evidence was found at the lake, believed to be a favorite fishing place of Garcia’s. A second search of Scotts Flat Lake, in 2008, also was unsuccessful.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User