Search intensifies for missing Bonney Lake girl after man charged with kidnapping, raping, trafficking her


Lily Christopherson, the missing 15-year-old from Bonney Lake, has been found safe. More information >>

TACOMA, Wash. -- A sex offender arrested during the weekend was charged Tuesday with kidnapping, raping and sex-trafficking a 15-year-old Bonney Lake girl who has been missing and the subject of an intense search for weeks. She is still missing.

Christopher Russell Fitzpatrick, 39, appeared in Pierce County Superior Court Tuesday. He was ordered held in the Pierce County Jail in lieu of $2 million.

After his appearance in court, Fitzpatrick tried to hang himself with a towel on a shower door in the jail, the Pierce County Sheriff's Department said. He was found, however, and taken to the hospital, where he is expected to survive, officials say.


Fitzpatrick and his alleged accomplice, Maria Ann Counts, who is also charged in the case, are also accused of providing illegal drugs to a minor and taking child porn pictures.

Police are still searching for the missing girl, Lily Christopherson.

The police became involved when the girl's mother, Lena Winters, contacted the Bonney Lake Police Department on May 9 and said her daughter had not been seen since that morning.

An 18-year-old friend of Lily's said they met up with a couple of older people at one point who were later identified as Fitzpatrick and Counts, police said.

In probable cause court documents, the mother of one of Fitzpatrick's children told police that Fitzpatrick is sexually violent and that his "thing" is keeping young girls drugged and to "pimp" them out of hotels.

Police eventually tracked down Counts, who, according to the court documents, said she did not know Lily was underage and thought she was 18 but also at times said the girl was 17. Counts said she had seen Lily with Fitzpatrick and that Fitzpatrick was sex-trafficking her. She said Fitzpatrick also had sex with the girl.

With information obtained from Counts and others, police were able to find and arrest Fitzpatrick on May 26. He has a prior conviction for a sex offense and he had an outstanding bench warrant for failing to register as a sex offender.

The search is still on for Lily. A reward of up to $2,000  is being offered for information that helps authorities find Lily. Call the Bonney Lake Police Department or 911 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. You can remain anonymous.