How Did Kristal Anne Reisinger Disappear From A Town With A Population Of 143?
CRESTONE, CO — In July 2016, a young mother named Kristal Anne Reisinger mysteriously disappeared from Crestone, Colorado.
The 29-year-old had recently moved from Denver to Crestone, a tiny town (population: 143) in southern Colorado near Great Sand Dunes National Park, leaving her five-year-old daughter Akasha with the girl’s father.
Reisinger’s perplexing disappearance is the subject of the new season of the true crime podcast Up And Vanished.
Family and friends say that Reisinger moved to the area, which has long been considered sacred ground by the Navajo Nation, on a quest for spiritual enlightenment. But she seems to have found something far more sinister.
“She was definitely on a spiritual path,” Reisinger’s former boyfriend, Elijah Guana, told Fox 31. “She was practicing Tarot cards, and was really into Hindu and Buddhism — really into Native American traditions (and) the nature of raising consciences and living a peaceful life. Her motto was ‘do no harm.’”
Kristal Reisinger [Missing Persons of America]
Then, around July 13, 2016, she disappeared.
A family friend went to check on her at her apartment, and was disturbed: He found items she had recently purchased sitting out, ready to use, but no sign of her.
Saguache County Sheriff Dan Warwick said that investigators had considered the possibility that Reisinger had gone on a “walk-about” or spiritual quest. But family and friends insisted that the young mother would never abandon and cut off communication with her daughter. Reisinger’s family said that she had a habit of calling Akasha almost every day.
Locals told police that Reisinger had attended a full moon drum circle, where hundreds of people gather for the ceremony and wild party at a campground on the outskirts of town.
Eventually, the Saguache County Sheriff’s Office shifted the case from a missing person investigation to suspected foul play. Two detectives from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation have also joined the team looking into what might have happened to Reisinger.
According to Reisinger’s landlord, Ara McDonald, and multiple sheriff’s sources, the last person to have called Reisinger is a local man with a felony criminal history of drugging and assaulting a victim.
Reisinger even confided in McDonald once that she’d been to a drum-circle party one night where she’d been given a lot of drugs, and she thought that someone had “taken advantage of her.”
Investigators have looked into several possibilities for her vanishing: Did Reisinger walk away to start a new life? Could she have suffered a drug overdose? Or was she targeted by someone sinister?
Reisinger’s friends and family have offered up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of person(s) responsible for her disappearance.
Anyone with information about Kristal is asked to call the sheriff’s office at (719) 655-2525.
Main photo: Kristal Reisinger [Missing Persons of America]