On the morning of June 1, 1987, 16-year-old Theresa Bier and 43-year-old Russel “Skip” Welch set off for a camping trip in the Shuteye Peak area of the Sierra National Forest. Welch had told Theresa all about the mythical Bigfoot – a half man half ape creature said to roam around the forests across the United States – and the two embarked upon an adventure in hopes of catching a glimpse of the legend for themselves.
According to Skip’s account of the day Theresa Bier was last seen, they were both wandering down the towpaths of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in search of the Sasquatch, when the two somehow became separated. Welch, a self-professed student of Bigfoot who claims to have been in close personal contact with the creatures, believes that it was during this time that Theresa had been kidnapped by a Bigfoot. Fresno police were dubious of Welch’s far fetched claims and immediately placed Welch under arrest for kidnapping.
Theresa’s body was never located and with very little evidence against Welch, prosecutors were forced to set him free three days before his trial. Initially the plan was to have Welch sign an agreement that he would be tried for the kidnapping charges and authorities could bring him back for a second trial in the event that a body was discovered, but Welch’s attorney refused to allow his client to sign the paperwork.