Lea Porter (19) had goals to become a massage therapist until a strong addiction got a hold of her. Unbeknownst to her family, Lea was using heroin and becoming more depressed as the days passed.
She ended up dropping out of college and moving to Denver, Colorado where an acquaintance, Christopher Waide (23), offered her a place to stay to help beat her addiction. He appeared as an “accountability person” when it came to her using. Lea, her brother, Maxx, and Christopher all knew each other from high school so she had a sense of trust with him. The two reconnected on Facebook and talked for about three months before she moved there.
It was June 3rd, 2014, when Lea’s mother and brother started to become alarmed after she stopped replying to any messages. Two days later, Lea’s mother decided to call Christopher to ask about Lea’s wellbeing. He explained that she left with another person the same day she arrived to live with him. Her family immediately reported her missing. Authorities located Lea’s car still parked in Christopher’s apartment complex’s parking lot with all of her bags and suitcases still full of her items. Christopher willingly let officers search his apartment without a warrant, as well as participated in the search to find Lea. He shared missing posters of her on his Facebook saying “Please Lea come back to us.”
With Lea now missing, Maxx remembered a few high school rumors and stereotypes about Christopher. Classmates recalled him having a journal about capturing and raping girls. Other people described him as “creepy.” Police uncovered that Christopher was discharged from the Army after admitting that he attempted to kidnap, rape, and murder a girl in high school, but stopped after the victim’s sister came home. During the search of his apartment, police found a large duffle bag full of women’s panties, but he explained that the underwear were his because he felt more comfortable in them. His computer searches contained links for bondage porn and child pornography. More alarming evidence was collected from his apartment after police noticed large blood stains on the mattress.
Police apparently couldn’t confirm that the blood was Lea’s until they found her body, but they were able to pin sexual exploitation of a child charges on him.
Investigators believed they caught a break in the case when Lea’s cell phone pinged in a local landfill. Christopher told police that he had been having realistic dreams that her body would be found in landfill — then he asked for a lawyer. The interrogation ended, but the constant searching through 50,000 tons of trash had just begun. In addition to finding her phone, her wallet and clothing were retrieved in the garbage. Lea’s family and police believed that Christopher was her killer, but proving guilt in no body homicides without a confession is very challenging.
Lea’s older brother, Maxx, devised a plan to hatch the confession they needed. He befriended Christopher in an attempt to lower his guard. “I started making him think that he could trust me. I started making him believe that he was helping us look for her”, he said.
Maxx and three of his friends met up with Christopher at a park while the whole exchange was being recorded on his phone. “You need to tell us right now dude. I need my sister back dude I’m gonna kill myself without my sister. If you did something really really bad I will forgive you I just need to know”, Maxx pleaded. Christopher broke down and finally told his version of events, starting with insisting Lea’s death was self defense. He claimed he strangled and sliced her body after she pulled a knife on him because he wouldn’t buy her drugs. He continued to confess that he put Lea’s body on his bed, placed a bag over her head, and stuffed her into a duffel bag. “I did the only thing I could think of. God help me…I put her in the dumpster”, Christopher explained.
After hearing the details about his baby sister’s death, Maxx couldn’t control his rage anymore and attacked Christopher. “I made sure that Maxx got at least one good shot in on his face before I grabbed him and pulled him off. I wanted to jump and go after him myself, but I wanted him to rot more than that”, said Maxx’s friend who was also there. Afterwards, Maxx called his mother to deliver the news that they were trying so hard not to officially believe.
In between her screams and cries, Lea’s mother dialed 911 and cried “That guy admitted he killed her!” Meanwhile, Christopher called the police on himself saying that he wanted to admit to a murder.
He pleaded guilty under a plea bargain on charges of second degree murder and sexual exploitation of a child. His sentence was 48 years in prison. Police have emphasized that they do not believe Christopher’s version of the story, nor have they ever been able to locate her body.