Kristi Cornwell: What Happened to Her? How Did She Die?

Kristi Cornwell, staying at her mother’s house in Union County, Georgia, had a routine of taking late-night walks, finding them peaceful. On the night of August 11, 2009, during one of her walks and while talking to her boyfriend using hands-free earphones, her boyfriend heard her getting into a scuffle and pleading with someone not to take her. He promptly called 911, but by the time authorities arrived, Kristi was nowhere to be found. ‘Disappeared: Danger at Dusk’ explores the case as the investigation identifies a suspect involved in her disappearance.

Kristi Cornwell Went Missing While She Was on a Walk

Born in 1970 to Jo Ann and Harold Cornwell, Kristi Cornwell was an ideal daughter and a loving sister to her younger brother, Richard Cornwell. Those who knew her remembered her as someone always willing to help others and committed to doing what was right. She worked as a probation officer for a period and resigned in 2002 to pursue full-time schooling. By 2009, she resided in her parents’ home on Jones Creek Road in Blairsville, Georgia, with her 15-year-old son, Brody.

Kristi, having been married three times, considered herself a bit unlucky in love. Five months before the incident, she encountered Douglas Davis, a pastor, through online channels. Believing that this relationship could bring positive changes to her life, she saw him as a stable and reliable partner. A few weeks before her disappearance, Kristi suffered a back injury from falling down some steps. To aid her recovery, she was advised to take regular walks, which she began doing at night, finding the time convenient for her routine and more peaceful.

On the evening of August 11, 2009, around 9 p.m., Kristi embarked on her usual walk from her parents’ home. Engaged in a conversation with Douglas via earphones, she requested him to hold on for a moment as she noticed a vehicle approaching from behind. During the call, Douglas heard a struggle and Kristi pleading, “Don’t take me.” Alarmed, Douglas immediately dialed 911, but the call with Kristi disconnected. When the police arrived at the location, there was no trace of her.

The initial suspect in Kristi’s disappearance was Douglas Davis, but he was quickly cleared as he was in a different town at the time, verified by investigations into his whereabouts. The police then shifted their focus to the theory that a stranger had abducted Kristi during her walk. A church staff member reported seeing a large light-colored SUV driving in the area a few hours after Kristi went missing. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation also participated in the search and discovered one of Kristi’s flip-flops near the location of her disappearance.

The search for Kristi intensified, leading to the discovery of the second flip-flop and her earphones, which were attached to her cellphone in August. The evidence suggested possible foul play in her disappearance. Despite a widespread search, including efforts by private investigators and groups organized by her family, Kristi was not found after a week, prompting a scaling back of the search operations. The family, however, remained determined and continued their efforts to locate Kristi.

The police uncovered another incident on August 2, 2009, in the North Carolina area where a woman was knocked over by a light-colored Nissan Xterra. The assailant intended to abduct her, but she managed to escape when another car passed by. Recognizing the similarities between this case and Kristi’s disappearance, law enforcement suspected the same individual to be involved. Sketches based on the accounts of this woman and another victim who escaped a similar attack were created and released to the media.

In January 2010, the North Carolina Sheriff’s Office and the Union County Sheriff’s Office received an anonymous letter. The letter suggested that the individual in the circulated sketch resembled the sender’s 27-year-old grandson. The letter provided no further information except for the claim that the man in question owned a car similar to those associated with the attacks and had been missing on the days of those incidents.

On April 4, 2010, a 10-year-old girl was abducted from a church-organized Easter egg hunt in Montgomery, Alabama. Fortunately, the girl managed to escape, and the entire incident was captured on CCTV camera. The vehicle used by the abductor was a Nissan Xterra. The individual responsible for the abduction was identified as James Scott Carringer. During the police attempt to apprehend him on April 8, Carringer shot himself during a standoff. It was revealed that he was also wanted for allegations of abduction and assault involving a student at Kennesaw State University.

The police discovered both a white and a silver Nissan Xterra in Carringer’s garage, and it was noted that the appearance of the cars had been altered. His family mentioned that he had a tendency to go off for days at a time with his phone turned off, and they couldn’t verify his whereabouts on the day Kristi disappeared. The cell phone records of Carringer revealed that he was present in the area where Kristi’s body was later recovered from. Although there is no physical evidence directly linking him to Kristi’s murder, he remains the prime suspect in the case, which is still open as of the latest records.

The Cause of Kristi Cornwell’s Death Remains Unknown

On January 1, 2011, during the search for 38-year-old Kristi Cornwell, her brother discovered human remains near Moccasin Creek Road, approximately 75 miles away from where she had gone missing. The remains were partially burnt and concealed in a rural, hilly area. Subsequent identification confirmed the body to be that of Kristi on January 3, 2011. However, the cause of her death remained undetermined.

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