Television show to revisit Lewiston Civic Theatre murders

Investigation Discovery's ‘Dark Minds’ will feature many mysterious cases.

Lewiston TribuneApril 9, 2014 

Christina White, 12, was last seen at a friend’s Asotin house in the spring of 1979.

Jackie Nichols became an Asotin County sheriff’s detective in 2007. She took an interest in the case of the girl who disappeared three decades earlier.

“Initially, the case file, no one knew where it was,” she said.

Nichols found the file, dusted it off, studied it and began piecing together the evidence.

She dedicated time each week to familiarizing herself with the case, organizing the file and considering fresh avenues to investigate. “I wanted to take another look at it, and using newer technology, get an idea of what could be done,” she said.

The case is the starting point for an episode of Investigation Discovery’s “Dark Minds,” a true-crime program that will feature a series of Lewiston-Clarkston Valley murders and missing person cases. Investigation Discovery is channel 355 for Cable One digital subscribers. It airs at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. on channel 285 on DirecTV.

In her seven years on the case, tips have led Nichols to property searches in Asotin.

She used cadaver dogs to search the Lewiston Civic Theatre, where three people were last seen before they were reported missing in September 1982. The bodies of two of the missing persons, 18-year-old Jacqueline Miller and her 21-year-old stepsister, Kristina Nelson, were discovered two years later near Kendrick. Steven Pearsall, 35, who was at the theater the night the girls went missing, has not been seen since that night.

In another case, Kristen David, 22, disappeared near Genesee in 1981 while riding her bike between Moscow and Lewiston. Her dismembered body was found in garbage bags under the Red Wolf Crossing Bridge. Her killer has not been found.

Although police and investigators freely use the name of a suspect who now lives outside the area, according to police, he was never officially charged.

“That’s all he is, is a suspect,” Lewiston Police Capt. Tom Greene said. “There’s no other suspect. If Steven Pearsall would surface, he’d become a suspect pretty rapidly.”

In an effort to locate Pearsall, or his remains, detectives a few years ago followed a lead to the Tri-Cities.

“It ended up a dead end,” Greene said. “If new information comes up, we act on it.”

Nichols’ motivation is to find remains of the two missing victims and provide closure to the parents and relatives who are still alive.

“Finding answers for them,” she said. “They don’t know what happened to their loved ones.”

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