Disappearance of Charlotte County woman could be connected to convicted murderer

COLD CASE: Deputies searching heavily wooded area for body of woman missing since 1995

PUNTA GORDA (WWSB) - The search for a Charlotte County woman missing since 1995 could now be connected to a man convicted of murder.

Cold case detectives continue to search a wooded area of Punta Gorda hoping to find remains of Christine Flahive. She was reported missing by her father on January 5, 1995, the day after she went missing after leaving home on her bicycle in the late afternoon. The 42-year-old has not been seen in the past 24 years.

According to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, Flahive was known to frequent local bars and restaurants in Punta Gorda, and her killer or killers are believed to have been regular patrons at the same establishments. Crews have been searching a 12-acre area behind the Charlotte Behavioral Health Care on Education Avenue. That location is near the former home of convicted murderer Phillip Barr.

Barr was found guilty in the 2001 cold case murder of 19-year-old Tara Sidarovich. He was sentenced to life in prison. Detectives would not say whether Barr is believed to be connected to Flahive’s disappearance, but would not rule him out as a suspect.

If you have any information please contact 941-639-2101.

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