Remains identified as those of Thomasville man who went missing in 2003

By David Ferrara

Remains found more than a year ago have been identified as those of a Thomasville man who disappeared in 2003.

The 31-year-old Christopher Randolph Hill was last seen Aug. 16 of that year near an oilfield in Barrytown, a small community in the southeast section of Choctaw County.

"At least I know where he's at now," his mother, Vicki Gregor, said Tuesday. "I know he's not laying out in the rain and cold anymore."

More than a year ago, investigators said remains found in Choctaw County might be his. The results of a DNA test and a dental record comparison confirmed that suspicion, District Attorney Spencer Walker, who serves Choctaw, Clarke and Washington counties, said Tuesday.

The last people to report seeing the Hill alive said that he ran into a wooded area near the oilfield when a neighbor said he was calling authorities. Hill and Jason Dixon had been suspected of breaking into a storage shed near an oilfield, authorities have said.

Online court records show Dixon, a Gilbertown resident, was later charged with burglary and theft of property.

Police dogs searched the heavily wooded area the day Hill went missing but found nothing, and authorities said Hill never again contacted his family or friends.

Over the years, authorities distributed fliers with Hill's picture.

For years, Gregor said, she pushed authorities to open a homicide case. She didn't know how, but she believed her son had been killed. He had been struggling with a crystal meth addiction, and even became mixed up in dealing the drug, she said, but he was seeking therapy. She talked with everyone who knew him. She even spoke with psychic detectives in Virginia and Arkansas.

In November 2008, acting on new leads, authorities called in a team of cadaver dogs and unsuccessfully searched the area where he disappeared.

A month later, Windle McIlwain was searching for old bottles in a trash pile about 30 yards from his property in Barrytown when he kicked a bone. He realized it was human and called authorities.

Choctaw County Sheriff James Lovette, who took over as sheriff after Hill disappeared, said Tuesday that his office had treated the incident as a missing person's case.

But Walker said his office would continue to investigate the death.

"There'll be some interviews conducted," the district attorney said. "Questions remain unanswered that I intend to follow up on."

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