Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Christina Carter: the girl who vanished into thin air

Christina Carter (Source: The Charley Project)

In 1973, Christina Lynn Carter was the 3-year-old daughter of Janet Carter, an employee at an insurance company in Birmingham, Alabama. Her mother was divorced and her father was seeking the custody of their child. The little girl was last seen on September 17 in Hueytown, Alabama, where she lived with her mother, but wasn’t reported missing until later.

On October 7, the body of a woman was found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in Tennessee. She had been bound, suffocated and put inside a duffel bag. When the victim was identified as Janet Carter one month later, the people close to her realized that Christina was missing.

So why did it take so long to report the disappearance of Christina and Janet? The most likely reason is that everyone believed that they were hiding from Christina’s father amid the custody battle. WebSleuths user MartieLee, who claims to be the cousin of Janet’s ex-husband, explained that Janet was seeing a married man with whom she had planned a trip to the national park. She also mentions that her lover is possibly the person responsible for Janet’s death. Although I’m very careful with what I read on message boards, I thought that MartieLee’s post was worth of consideration. However, despite this information, the death of Christina’s mother remains officially unsolved.

The question that’s boggling my mind is: where the heck is Christina? At some point, the police believed that the child was left with someone to be taken care of. If this was the case, why hasn’t her caretaker come forward? Given the circumstances of her disappearance, three theories cross my mind:

A) Christina was killed or abandoned in the park by the same person who killed her mother, but her remains haven’t been found.

B) Janet’s killer gave up Christina to someone who raised her as their daughter.

At some point, it was theorized that Christina was Sharon Marshall, but this theory has been proven wrong when Sharon turned out to be Suzanne Sevakis. Whether Christina is dead or alive remains a complete mystery.

If you have information about this case, please contact the Hueytown Police Department at 205-491-3587.


Good, Meaghan. 2004. “Christina Lynn Carter.” The Charley Project.

MartieLee. 2008. “AL - Christina Carter, 3, Hueytown, 17 Sept 1973.” WebSleuths.

Peters, Dean Marie Pyle. 2010. “Christina Lynn Carter-Missing 37 Years.” Dean Marie Pyle Peters & Cold Cases.


  1. I know of the married man. I was raised by him and have always heard about this case. It has became an obscure fact about this man. VERY hard to find.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Is the "married man" still alive? His identity is something I have been trying to nail down as I think there is a chance it is a former officer I know. I really would like to rule my person out if possible. Please email me at