TACOMA, Wash. — A man and a woman have been charged with kidnapping a Bonney Lake teenager. But that girl, 15-year-old Lileana Christopherson, is still missing.
According to the court documents, this teenager was likely in real danger from the moment she met these two adults. Worst of all, she was with them for nearly two weeks before police knew just how bad the situation was.
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Christopher Fitzpatrick, 39, walked into a Pierce County courtroom dressed in a smock usually reserved for suspects who are suicidal. He and 29-year-old Maria Ann Counts are suspected in the disappearance of Christopherson.
Both suspects are facing six counts, including child rape and promoting child prostitution. Both pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to court documents, Fitzpatrick and Counts met Lily and a friend, Alex, at the Federal Way Transit Center on May 9. The teenagers went with them to a nearby RV where they were supplied with a drug known as DMT, a synthetic hallucinogen. That is when Lily was convinced to go with the couple to a hotel where they would pay her to take nude photos. At that point, they ordered Alex to leave.
But the documents show he waited 12 long days to tell anyone the terrible story. By then, the documents say, Fitzpatrick had raped and sold Lily several times as a prostitute.
"There's nothing more important than protecting our children and there are no crimes more serious than violating children," said Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.
Lindquist says these arrests are shining a light on the underworld of sexual exploitation of children.
"The world of sex trafficking is seedy and it's dangerous," Lindquist said. "And it's important we find her."
And that is something Lindquist and everyone involved in the case is stressing. It is urgent that they find this teenager.
According to the court documents, she is being advertised on a website that was new even to Lindquist: MeetMe.com. And, he cautions potential "customers" that anyone caught having sex with a child faces at least 10 years in prison. They could be charged even if they don't know the victim is underage.
Cox Media Group