Nine-year-old Christian was last seen by his father, Dawan T. Ferguson on June 11, 2003 in St. Louis, Missouri. Between 6:00 and 6:30am, Dawan called police to say that someone had driven off in his 1999 Ford Exhibition SUV and it was stolen after he got out of the car to make a phone call to Christian's doctor at a phone booth at Skinker and Page, leaving the keys in the ignition.
At the time, Dawan was driving Christian to the hospital and Christian was in the backseat of the SUV, wearing only a diaper and wrapped in a red & blue blanket. Two hours later at 8:00am, the SUV was found abandoned about five miles from where it was first taken. It was unlocked and the keys were in the ignition. The vehicle contained valuable items such as a laptop computer, two cell phones and other electronic gear, but Christian was not in there.
Police and tracker dogs were unable to find Christian in the vicinity. Christian probably would've been unable to get out of the car himself without assistance. He can walk, but only very unsteadily. Authorities have stated that Dawan refused to take a polygraph test and there are inconsistencies with his story. He stopped cooperating with the police and hired his own private investigators.
Dawan and Theda (Christian's mother) had separated in October of 1997 and divorced a year later. They both accused each other of neglecting Christian's medical needs during the custody battle. In 1999, Dawan was given full custody of Christian and his younger brother, Connor.
Former home health care nurses believed that Christian was being neglected and Dawan was inconsistent about giving him his medication which caused him to be hospitalized twice as a result. One time, Dawan claimed that the pharmacy ran out of Christian's medication and was unable to fill his prescriptions, but the story turned out to be false.
After Christian went missing, it was discovered that he was probably undermedicated for several months prior to his disappearance.
At the time of his disappearance, Theda was fighting for custody of both Christian and Connor after being forbidded to see them except during specific visiting times. She hadn't seen Christian for three months before he went missing because Dawan missed two scheduled visits and the last time Theda saw the boys, they were unkempt and dirty; Christian smelled of urine and lost weight, so Theda took him to the hospital for treatment.
Two days before Christian's disappearance, a judge ordered Dawan to follow by the visitation schedule or be held in contempt of court. Connor stated that Dawan took Christian out of their bedroom and drove away. He also said that Christian looked very sick and malnourished prior to his disappearance and Christian's gastric feeding tube was missing. It was found in the Ferguson house, covered in bodily fluids and it looked like it was forcibily removed.
Authorities believed that Dawan had deliberately neglected Christian's medical needs and allowed him to die rather than let Theda have custody of him. They also believe Christian died the night he allegedly was abducted, Dawan concealed his body and made up the kidnapping story.
Dawan has not been charged in Christian's disappearance due to lack of evidence, but he maintains his innocence. He was later imprisoned on federal fraud charges, but was released. Christian's case remains unsolved.
Christian is physically and mentally challenged due to a rare metabolic disorder called citrullinemia which makes him unable to digest protein. He was on a strict diet and requires six different types of medication to be administered several times a day to treat his condition. He didn't have any medication with him when he disappeared and if he doesn't get it, he will develop hyperammonemia (which is high ammonia levels in the blood) and die within a day.
For the first seven years of his life, Christian developed normally, but he fell into a month-long coma in 2001 and suffered from a series of near-fatal strokes which caused severe brain damage. He cannot speak, feed himself, take care himself and must wear diapers. At the time of his disappearance, he had a short-afro hairstyle. He also has an extremely thin, frail build.
Due to his medical problems, authorities have little hope that Christian will be found alive, but his case is still classified as an endangered missing person.