WHAT HAPPENED? (1)
Lisa Marie Young, 21, disappeared from Nanaimo, British Columbia in Canada on June 30, 2002, after spending the night at a nightclub and several house parties. She was last seen accepting a ride to a fast food restaurant from a man she had just met.
Lisa has not been seen or heard from again. However, her disappearance has been investigated as a homicide.
ABOUT LISA, AND HER DISAPPEARANCE (1)
Lisa was the older sister of 2 younger brothers, Brian and Robin. She was close with her family and parents, Don Young and Joanne Martin. Joanne described her daughter as independent and a hard worker who could be a little bit stubborn. Her friends remember her as being "outgoing, confident and bubbly", and they said she had a light about her that made her immediately noticed when she entered a room.
At the time of her disappearance, her father had been helping her to move into her own apartment, which she was very excited about. She was also preparing to start a new job, and considered attending college to become a television sports broadcaster.
On the evening of June 29, 2002, Lisa left her parents house at 11:00 PM with plans to go to a nightclub with her friends. It was a Saturday night and a common thing for a 21-year-old to do on the weekend, but her parents found it strange given her busy schedule for the upcoming week. It seemed she had planned to start her new job on Monday.
Lisa and her friends stayed most of the night at a downtown nightclub called Jungle where they celebrated their friend Dallas Hulley's birthday. At around 2:30 AM, when the club closed, one of Lisa's friends struck up a conversation with Christopher Adair, a man she had only just met. However, he told them of a house party that he could take them to. Despite just meeting him, Lisa and her friends accepted the offer and piled into his red Jaguar.
They hung out at the first house party for a little while then moved onto a second one. At this point, Lisa was getting hungry, and because she was a vegetarian, was struggling to find anything to eat at the party. Adair offered to take her to a nearby sandwich shop, which she accepted. She was seen at around 3:00 AM leaving the second house party with Adair for the last time.
Shortly after she left, Hulley received a phone call from Lisa. She said that Adair did not take her out to eat and wouldn't drop her off at home. Instead, she was sitting in his driveway, and Adair would not let her get out.
"Sure enough it's Lisa on her cell phone," Dallas remembered. "She goes 'Dallas, I don't know what's going on. This guy won't bring me back. We're sitting in a driveway on Bowen road and he won't bring me back.' She says, 'I'm bored. I'm getting pissed off.'" (2)
She texted him again at 4:30 saying, "come get me, they won't let me leave". Her phone was never found.
THE INVESTIGATION AND AFTERMATH
Later that morning, Lisa's parents were growing concerned. They assumed that she may have been too busy to answer her phone, but when Lisa's friend and former roommate visited to ask if they'd heard from Lisa, they became worried. They tried to reason for the first day, but when she did not show up on July 1 to start moving into her apartment, concern grew to fear. Her friends started looking for her, and her parents called everyone she knew, hoping they'd know where she was. (1,2)
When that turned up nothing, they called the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who initially said she had to be missing for 48 hours before she could be officially reported missing. However, they came over that night and obtained a photo of her and asked some questions. The officer allegedly said he would be off for 4 days and could start looking into the case when he returned. Her family contacted the media, who helped to get the word out about Lisa's disappearance. (1,2)
Adair was their first and primary suspect, though he was only interviewed 2 months after Lisa disappeared. He had previous convictions for assault, fraud, theft, and unauthorized use of credit cards. He said he did not know where Lisa was and apologized that he could not be of more help. When they seized the car, it had already been fully steam cleaned and thus, no forensic evidence was able to be found. (1,2)
Authorities, however, refused to confirm the validity of the conversation. Adair's car belonged to his grandmother who sold it during the investigation. She was a prominent member of the business community, as well, and threatened legal actions if her grandson continued to be interviewed in relation to Lisa's disappearance. Though she died in 2011, Adair has never been arrested or convicted. (1)
Lisa's mom, Joanne, experienced significant health complications after her daughter vanished. She died on June 21, 2017, but in the 15 years between Lisa's disappearance and her death, her kidneys began failing and she suffered hypertension. Her family and friends believed the stress of not knowing what happened to her daughter contributed to her deteriorating health. (1)
Dallas Hulley, the last person to hear from Lisa, died in 2018 when he was hit by a car when he learned into the street to pick up something he had dropped. (1)
There really is not much to go off of here, because it is pretty clear that whatever happened to Lisa was spurred on by Christopher Adair. He was the last to see her, he cleaned his car and sold it. He was a known criminal and she called her friend saying he would not let her leave. Additionally, law enforcement didn't seem to care much about what happened, interviewing the obvious prime suspect months after her disappearance. Perhaps they cared about not stepping on the toes of his grandmother, a prominent figure in the community?
A Reddit user who claims to be a cousin of Lisa's grandmother has 2 theories. They explain that the area this took place in was controlled by the Hell's Angels and Chinese Triad, 2 gangs into drug dealing and importation. Their first theory is that he had planned to just take her to a house of drug importers with no actual intent to harm, but when they saw he brought someone, they had to get rid of her. However, the cousin is not super fond of this theory because they couldn't imagine they would kill someone and leave a witness alive.
Their other theory is that the guys were Hell's Angels and Adair brought her over for the purpose to rape and kill her.
Ultimately, the cousin does not believe it will be solved without a confession. He or she admits the theories could be wrong, but cites the drug trade, the Hell's Angels involvement in politics and police and law enforcement corruption as reasons her death may have been covered up.
Another Reddit user claims that in the CaseFile Podcast about this case, when Lisa's mother met with Adair, there was a chalkboard with the words "rape, murder, accident" on it. This user corroborates the above theory, that the house was the house of a shady Hell's Angel member. Perhaps the words on the board mean that he did not know they were going to rape and murder her?
Others believe similar theories, and believe that where her body is buried is common knowledge amongst organized crime and law enforcement, but they were paid or pressured not to look further into the case. Some think law enforcement were pressured or paid, as well, but by Adair's grandmother.
One point that a Reddit user made, that I think is a good one, is that Lisa was left in the car with her phone. If Adair had planned to kidnap and kill her, would he have left her with her phone, able to call for help? This leads some to believe the cousin's first theory: That Adair had just planned to go get some drugs on his way to take Lisa to get food or something, but either they spotted Lisa as a potential witness, or Adair had some sort of debt to them, and things turn ugly. The user does not believe she would have been left with her phone if he had ill-intent from the beginning, and does not believe he would have used his real name or picked up her and her friends in such a flashy, recognizable car if he had planned to kill her.
There is also the chance that it was just a crime of opportunity. There was no drug ring or anything involved, Adair just thought he could get a pretty girl alone and either planned to rape and kill her or eventually did anyway. His grandmother helped him cover it up, and she also paid police to make it go away. It doesn't seem likely, as again, why would be use his real name and allow her to have her phone? And why would she say "they won't let me leave" if it was just 1 person? But still, perhaps a possibility.
To me, what is most likely is also what is the most sad. He might have just taken her to get food. He said he was going to stop and get drugs, or they both decided they wanted some drugs. He went to his hook up's house, where he noticed a girl in the car and refused to let them leave. They killed her and hid her body some place it would never be found. They told Adair to clean and sell his car. And then, they paid off the police to move on, or otherwise pressured them to stop looking into it. And they paid, or pressured, Adair not to speak up.
A case that could be so open and shut was thrown off by law enforcement corruption.
This case, to me, is one of the most evident examples of "solved but not solved". Christopher Adair knows what happened to Lisa Marie Young, whether he witnessed it or was a part of it. But for whatever reason, that all falls back into corruption, her case may never be solved.
There is not much information on the case, and though Reddit sleuths and podcasters have tried to tackle the case, there isn't much to go off of. A confession will likely be needed to ever bring justice to Lisa's kidnappers and probable killers.
It has been 18 years since Lisa Young disappeared, and I hope in the next 18 someone is brought to justice.