Colorado Babysitter Accused Of Multiple Child Rapes, Takes Off For Europe
Chris Deininger is wanted for abusing up to 10 victims between the ages of one and eight in Colorado; he was last seen in Switzerland.
ERIE, CO — Authorities say that between 1997 and 2000, Christopher Ward Deininger sexually assaulted as many as 10 children who were placed in his care while he worked as part of a local babysitting service.
At the time he got busted, Deininger’s business card described him as a Boy Scout and Lafayette Police Department Explorer who knew first aid and CPR. He was also just 16 years old.
After pleading guilty to multiple charges, Deininger was sentenced to 12 years probation and ordered to live in a halfway house. In April 2005, though, he hopped a flight from Chicago to London and he was last reportedly spotted in Bern, Switzerland.
As a result, Interpol has joined the hunt for Deininger. His fluency in English, French, Italian, Spanish, and German is believed to have helped him to remain at large throughout Europe.
Deininger’s crimes initially came to light on December 3, 2000, when the Erie Police Department received a call about possible sexual assault on a child. As former Detective Brett Callahan remembers, “The victim was two and a half years old.”
Forensic investigator Michelle Peterson, who was called in to work with the child, said, "She was able to show me by taking her hand and licking it, as to what Chris had done to her; she was able to go into a full disclosure about where he licked her on her body, how he did it, what parts, and additional forms of abuse Chris did to her."
This revelation set off a firestorm of fear among the local community, as Deininger had been a popular babysitter. Calls poured in to the police department.
Discussing the case with In Pursuit With John Walsh cohost Callahan Walsh, a neighbor referred to just as "Bob" spoke of Deininger’s M.O. with horror, noting, “The fact that you set up a babysitting service, and then you're gonna perp kids that cannot even articulate thoughts — that are two, three years old, boys or girls, but it's all in that same age group. That’s who he babysat. He wasn't babysitting 10-, 11-, 12-year-old kids.”
The allegations grew in number and severity. Deininger filmed some of the abuse and a search of the suspect’s bedroom proved alarming. Detective Callahan said, “We found child porn. Pornography. All different types of ages and victims. I think he knew what he had done, and I told him, ‘You know why we are here.’”
Shortly thereafter, Deininger disappeared. Authorities think he may have fled the state, but he eventually turned himself in through an attorney.
In terms of a trial, Callahan said, "Putting two-and-a-half-year olds on the stand was just not something that the district attorney felt comfortable doing." Instead, prosecutors offered Deininger a plea deal. He admitted to abusing four children and received 12 years of highly conditional probation.
According to Greg Brown, in the Chief Probation Office, "The judge ordered him into residential placement when he's a juvenile for 18-months. And then he was transitioned to something we call a high-level, high-intensity program.”
Part of the program included polygraph examinations, and Brown added, “I know that it's been reported that there were an excess of 29 victims when he was going through the sexual history disclosure process.”
For the next four years, Deininger complied with his conditions, but on April 18, 2005, he simply vanished.
Investigators determined that Deininger fled to Europe. Callahan says he believes Deininger will continue to abuse children wherehever he goes, stating, "There's no doubt in my mind he's doing that. That's the reason why he fled. I think he's somewhere that makes it easier for him to perpetrate on his victims.”
TRAITS & CHARACTERISTICS:
- Weight: 198 pounds
- Height: 6 feet 3 inches tall
- Sex: Male
- Race: Caucasian
- Hair: Brown
- Eyes: Hazel
- Scars: Larger, prominent mole on the right side of neck
- Current age: 34
- Date of birth: August 2, 1984
- Last seen: Bern, Switzerland
- Speaks a number of languages fluently, including: French, English, and Spanish
- Fan of fantasy card games like Magic: The Gathering
- Previously used aliases "Renewal 'Rune' Machera" and "Rudy Nochera"
- Known to be a talented artist
If you know anything about this case, please contact our hotline (833-3-PURSUE) or submit a tip online.
For more on this case, watch the “Stolen Life” episode of In Pursuit With John Walsh on Wednesday, April 3 at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery! Or catch up on ID GO.