Case File Overview
On the evening of June 29th, 2002, Lisa Marie Young’s parents said goodbye to their 21-year-old daughter as she headed out for a night of clubbing with friends in Nanaimo, BC.
It was the Canada Day long weekend, so the downtown core was lively and full of revellers. Lisa met up with a group of friends at the Jungle Nightclub, later called Club 241.
At around 2:30AM on June 30th, Lisa and her friends left the bar with a man they had just met, 27-year-old Christopher Adair. Adair offered to give them all a ride to a house party in his red Jaguar. After spending some time there, the group then left again with Adair and headed to another party.
Jaguar Lisa was last seen in
At the second house party, which was located in the Cathers Lake area of Nanaimo, Lisa mentioned that she needed to go get some food. Lisa, a vegetarian, could not find any options at the party that suited her dietary needs. Adair offered to drive Lisa to a local sandwich shop to grab what she needed. Lisa accepted Adair’s offer and they left the party alone in his vehicle around 3:00AM.
Lisa texted one her friends who she had been partying with that night, Dallas Hulley, at around 4:30AM. In the message, Lisa explained that Adair did not drive her to pick up food like he had promised. Instead, he had taken her to another house party. Lisa was becoming concerned for her safety and did not feel as though she was allowed to leave.
Lisa has never been seen again.
When Lisa disappeared, she was 5’4 (163 cm) and 115 lbs (52 kg). She had long dark brown hair, brown eyes, and a tattoo on her right arm of a band of flowers with a heart in the middle.
Case File Theories
There is only one real theory worth discussing in this case: Lisa met with foul play. The authorities told the media that Lisa’s case is considered an “unsolved missing (case), believed to be a homicide.” I think that there is little doubt that Lisa was murdered shortly after she vanished.
Unlike what happens in most missing person cases, no one has even suggested that Lisa may have run off to start a new life. Lisa’s life seemed to be coming together, and there was no reason for her to willingly leave town. Not only was Lisa close to her family, but also she was preparing to move into a new apartment the day after she disappeared and was beginning a new job at a call centre on July 2nd. Her family also revealed that Lisa was considering returning to school; she had dreams of becoming a sports broadcaster.
Although the police refuse to share details of the case “to maintain the integrity of their investigation,” most fingers point to Adair as the person responsible for Lisa’s disappearance. Lisa’s distressed message to her friend Dallas and her growing fear of Adair on the night she vanished are especially unsettling.
Apparently it took the police a month to officially question Adair. Lisa’s mother Joanne told the media that she had the opportunity to speak to Adair during this interrogation. When Lisa’s mother asked him to tell her where her daughter was, he replied, “I can’t. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to disrespect your family …” and his voice trailed off. The Youngs have always maintained that Adair knows more about Lisa’s disappearance than he is willing to share.
Adair is the grandson of a wealthy realtor and business woman, Geraldine Lorna Adair, from the resort community Qualicum Beach. The Jaguar was actually owned by “Gerry,” and it was sold shortly after Lisa’s disappearance. Before it was sold, however, the police seized it and performed a thorough forensic examination of the vehicle. I guess we can conclude that nothing of interest was found in the vehicle, since the car was returned and Adair remains a free man.
Adair has had numerous run-ins with the law, including a history of fraud and assault charges. He also has breached court orders and even assaulted a police office. The authorities, though, refuse to label Adair anything other than “simply a person of interest” in Lisa’s disappearance. The rumours around town have not been so judicious. Apparently the talk on the street is that Adair took Lisa to a house that was associated with known gang members and drug dealers. The rumours go as far as to detail a woman referred to as the “clean-up girl” playing a part in covering up whatever might have happened to Lisa.
Did Lisa fall victim to some of Nanaimo’s notorious criminals? Perhaps. If this is the case some members of the public likely know what happened, and now “just” have to find the courage to come forward and share their story.
What do you think happened to Lisa?
Thankfully, unlike many other cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada, Lisa’s case has received adequate press coverage. A black mark on Canada is, without doubt, our horrific treatment of Indigenous Peoples. In part to combat the systemic racism that hinders closure in cases involving Indigenous women and girls, the Canadian Federal government formed the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. CBC News, Canada’s largest news outlet, has also focused on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls by starting an excellent and informative website that investigates their cases: Missing & Murdered: The Unsolved Cases of Indigenous Women and Girls. The site has a page dedicated to Lisa’s disappearance that can be found here.
The podcast Island Crime also does a deep dive into Lisa’s case during the first season of their show. If you want more details on this case and to learn how you can help find justice for Lisa that podcast is a great place to look to next.
Lisa was a fiery, independent young woman who enjoyed water sports, rollerblading, and spending time with her friends. Her mother, Joanne, has reminisced how Lisa “was a hard worker and had a hard head.” Sadly, Lisa’s mother passed away in 2017 without knowing what happened to her daughter. However, Lisa still has loved ones who will not give up searching for answers.
Related Reading and Listening
Where is Lisa Marie?: The family continues to ask a decade later – Ha-Shilth-Sa article
15 years later: Nanaimo’s Lisa Marie Young still missing – Nanaimo News Now article
Inquiry brings back memories of Nanaimo woman missing since 2002 – The Star article
Lisa Marie Young – CBC News Missing & Murdered Aboriginal Women website
Lisa Marie Young, Missing from British Columbia since 2002 – Justice for Native Women article
Lisa Marie Young disappeared: One of the missing and murdered Indigenous women not forgotten – McColl Magazine article
Lisa Marie Young – Casefile podcast episode
Island Crime – Season one.