Real Names: Christene Dawn and Nicholas Anthony Skubish (Scoobish is an alternate mispelling)
Nicknames: Chrissy (Christene); Nick, Nicky (Nicholas)
Location: Placerville, California
Date: June 6, 1994
Occupation: Paralegal (Christene)
Date of Birth: October 24, 1970 (Christene)
Marital Status: Engaged (Christene)
Details: On June 6, 1994, twenty-three-year-old Christene Skubish and her three-year-old son Nick were driving along Highway 50 in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in California when they vanished without a trace. She was a single mother who had recently earned her paralegal certification and was also hopeful about marrying her son’s father. She left her family’s home near Sacramento on June 5, 1994, headed for Carson City, Nevada. She was reported missing on June 8 by Dave Stautzenbach, her stepfather, who called the police to make a missing-persons report on her disappearance. An investigation began into the case, but no leads initially turned up.
Extra Notes: This case originally ran on the February 21, 1997 episode.
The paranormal attributes of this case were featured in the series, Paranormal Witness.
Results: Solved. Five days after Christene and Nick disappeared, a woman named Deborah Hoyt and her husband were driving along Highway 50 late at night. The two were singing to keep themselves awake. Suddenly, Deborah saw a naked woman laying on the side of the road. The woman's face was towards the road, she was laying on her side, her knees were slightly bent, she had one arm underneath her head, and the other arm on her head. The Hoyts were dumbfounded. They thought it might have been an obscene practical joke or a trap to hijack their car. They stopped at the nearest phone booth to call the police.
Within minutes, two cruisers were at the site where Deborah had seen the woman's body. However, without a landmark to pinpoint the exact location, the authorities found nothing. The next morning, some began to suspect that the sighting had something to do with the disappearance of Christene and Nick. At the urging of their families, Deputy Rich Strasser decided to investigate further. He figured that it might be easier to spot something in the daylight.
Deborah had pinpointed a particularly dangerous stretch of Highway 50 known as "Bullion Bend". As Strasser drove in the area, he noticed a child's black tennis shoe on the side of the road. The area next to the road was a steep embankment. He decided to pull over and search the area further. At the bottom of the ravine, he discovered the twisted remains of Christene's car. He checked Christene and discovered that she was dead. He went to the passenger side to check Nick, who was laying in a fetal position.
Strasser assumed that Nick had also died. However, when he touched Nick's neck to find a pulse, it appeared that he took a breath. Strasser immediately called for an ambulance. Nick had been alone in the car for five days. Police believe that sometime after 2AM on June 6, Christene fell asleep at the wheel. She drove off the road and crashed her car at the bottom of a steep incline. Due to the incline, motorists drove past the accident scene for days, unaware of the accident below.
Christene had been killed instantly; three-year-old Nick was all alone with no way out and no one to talk to. Christene's mother believes that he spent the time talking to his mother, unaware that she was dead. Against all odds, he had survived five days of blistering heat and four nights of cold, dark solitude. Doctors who examined him believed that he would have had only an hour or two left to live had he not been rescued.
The strange circumstances that saved Nick's life seem to defy explanation. If Deborah had not seen the naked woman, he would have not survived. It seems impossible for Christene to have been the naked woman, as she was still fully clothed and wearing her seatbelt. Furthermore, Strasser believes that she was most likely killed on impact. Deborah is certain that she saw a naked woman on the side of the road. She and Christene's family believes that it was Christene's spirit who saved Nick that day.
On the show Paranormal Witness, Nick, now an adult, was interviewed. He described a bright light surrounding their car following the accident. He also recalled seeing the figure of a woman standing near the road. He believed that his mother was watching over him following the accident.
Also, it was mentioned that Christene's aunt had several dreams about the accident before Christene and Nick were ever reported missing. She saw them laying in their car in a ditch. She also saw the number "16" which turned out to be the number for a mile marker near the accident site.
- Report of naked lady leads deputies to boy trapped in car
- Tot survives five days in car wreckage
- Boy, 3, Recovering After 5 Days in Car With Dead Mother
- Tot survives 6 days after crash that killed former area resident
- Truth or Legend? A Mother's Ghost Saves Her Son
- Christine Skubish at Mystery Portals
- Christene Skubish at Find a Grave