POTOSI, Mo. – Christian Hildebrandt, 28, texted for help, then was later found dead.
The victim’s mother, Kim Little, said she was told it was a suicide. It’s an answer she said she won’t accept.
It happened in March about 13 miles from Potosi in Washington County, Missouri. Little said the coroner immediately told her that her son died by suicide.
“My son was not in any way shape or form suicidal, so why would you expect me to believe that my son was going to go kill himself,” Little said.
She said her son was found dead in a wooded area, and authorities found him by tracking his cell phone after she alerted them about his text. Little is haunted by her son’s last message, which said, “help me please, left with (name).”
Fox 2 can not release the name in the text message because that person has not been charged with a crime.
“I knew he was in distress. I could feel it – and mother’s instinct is not a joke. It’s very real because the minute I saw that I immediately texted – ‘What?’ ” Little said.
She never got an answer.
Little said her son had special needs but lived independently. He loved Pokémon, which they played together. He struggled with bipolar. Little says her son was thriving lately.
“He was exercising every day. He was cleaning his apartment every day. He was doing so good. He was adulting,” Little said.
She will not accept what she says the coroner told her. She said the coroner told her, “It looks like he died of a stab wound to the neck and it could possibly be two.
There’s no defensive wounds or anything looking like it was a fight, so we’re thinking it might be suicide.”
After four calls to the sheriff’s office over the course of two weeks, Sheriff Zach Jacobsen called Fox 2 to say he is investigating Christian Hildebrandt’s death as a homicide.
He said he’s also called in the Major Case Squad and the Missouri Highway Patrol for assistance.
Fox 2 told Little the news. She was surprised, saying, “Do you know that’s the first time the word homicide has been used out of that office? First time! That makes me feel like they’re trying to CYOA because you’re involved now.”
Little said a highway patrol investigator called her 15 minutes before our interview, asking for her son’s phone so they can analyze it.
It’s now been 29 weeks since her son’s death. She hopes it’s the beginning of her son’s voice being heard.
“My son was the kind of person who would lift everybody up and it’s his turn. It’s his turn,” Little said.