POTOSI, Mo. – A 28-year-old man who texted for help before he died visited a neighbor who says she has important information. Yet she said it took police investigators months to hear it.
Ladonna Kay said Christian Hildebrandt came by her home on Citadel in Potosi the same day he texted for help and named a person with him.
Kay pointed to Hildebrandt’s previous apartment saying, “He lived down there where the blue trash cans are. He would just mosey right on up here and take my trash down for me. He was so happy that day.”
Kay said Hildebrandt was excited he was getting picked up to do a job back in March.
“It was an opportunity to make some money and he needed that. He was broke,” she said. “He said actually I’ve gotta go. My friend is picking me up in a minute. He gave me a hug and left, and I never seen him again.”
Hildebrandt was found dead the same day, March 11, 2021, in a wooded area about 13 miles outside of Potosi. His mother said she got a final text message that read “Help me please…” and that he’d left with a man Fox 2 cannot name because he’s not criminally charged.
It’s the same man Kay said Hildebrandt told her was picking him up.
Kay said that man called her later that afternoon.
“He said ‘well (Hildebrandt) got mad and took off from me and he went off into the woods.’ And I said ‘well why are you driving up and down the road? Don’t you think you need to be in the woods looking for him?’ And he said ‘no it’s pouring down rain.’ ”
Kay continued, “He was pretty calm and just not – you know – didn’t act to me like he was very concerned.”
She said she was shocked to later hear the coroner had claimed Hildebrandt died by suicide. The victim’s mother said the Coroner told her that, without a complete investigation.
Kim Little, Hildebrandt’s mother said, “I actually wanted to punch him. I’m not going to lie. I wanted to do this man harm because that was ludicrous to say that to my face, especially when I’d been with my son the night before he died.”
Kay added, “He was in no way suicidal that day. He was in too good of a mood.”
Despite what the coroner told Little, the Washington County Sheriff told Fox 2 Wednesday that his office is investigating the death as a homicide and that he immediately brought in the Major Case Squad and highway patrol to help.
Kay said a sheriff’s deputy would not take her report right after Hildebrandt’s death, but she says she’s seen a recent change.
“They just showed up on my doorstep one day – these two investigators,” Kay said.
She said officers have returned to her twice in September, writing reports each time, and that they spoke to her again just last week – the seven-month mark since Hildebrandt’s death.
Both Kay and Little say they’d never seen Hildebrandt doing so well. His mom said he’d also successfully weaned himself off his bipolar medication for the first time and seemed more stable than ever.