’48 Hours’ Revisits “The Search for Christie Wilson” December 30 2023

Correspondent Erin Moriarty and 48 HOURS delve into the harrowing journey of Debbie Boyd in an encore presentation of “The Search for Christie Wilson.” This compelling episode is set to air on Saturday, Dec. 30, 2023, at 9:00 PM ET/PT on the CBS Television Network, offering an in-depth look into a mother’s relentless pursuit for answers in the aftermath of her daughter’s disappearance and murder.


The case of Christie Wilson, a 27-year-old California woman who vanished after a night at Thunder Valley Casino, reverberated across the nation. Her disappearance in 2005 and the subsequent 15-year search for her remains exemplify a tragic blend of mystery, persistence, and the eventual triumph of justice.

Christie Wilson’s Disappearance

On October 5, 2005, Christie Wilson was last seen in the early hours, departing Thunder Valley Casino. A vibrant and sociable woman, her sudden disappearance raised immediate alarms among her loved ones. She was last spotted with Mario Garcia, a man she had met that evening. Their interaction, caught on surveillance, hinted at an unwilling encounter, especially when Wilson was seen shoving away Garcia’s arm.

The Investigation Begins

Investigators focused on Mario Garcia, who had a troubled past involving violent incidents with women. Despite his claims of innocence, the evidence was mounting. Garcia had visible scratch marks, and a search of his vehicle revealed traces of Wilson’s DNA. These findings led to Garcia’s arrest and subsequent conviction for first-degree murder in 2007, despite the absence of Wilson’s body.

The Relentless Search

Debbie Boyd, Christie’s mother, in collaboration with investigators, never ceased in her pursuit to find her daughter’s remains. This journey spanned over a decade, marked by false leads and frustrating dead ends.

The Breakthrough

In 2020, a pivotal clue emerged from Garcia’s son, recalling his father’s unusual behavior around their property at the time of Wilson’s disappearance. This led to a detailed search of Garcia’s former home in Auburn, where, using Ground Penetrating Radar technology, investigators unearthed skeletal remains. Dental records confirmed the worst fears: they belonged to Christie Wilson.

Closure and Impact

The discovery of Christie Wilson’s remains brought a somber closure to a long-standing mystery. It highlighted the unwavering determination of Boyd and the investigative team in their pursuit of justice. “The Search for Christie Wilson” on 48 HOURS presents a poignant narrative of this journey, capturing the resilience of a mother and the relentless pursuit of truth against seemingly insurmountable odds.

More 48 Hours: The Search for Christie Wilson

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Ryan Gill

Ryan is a passionate follower of true crime television programs, reporting on and providing in-depth investigations on mysteries in the criminal world.

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