$400,000 REWARD



Chris Giauque


Contact Chris’ Father, Bob Giauque at 707-865-0933 bob@chrisreward.org

Mail at P.O. Box 609, Monte Rio, CA 95462


Private Investigator Dawn King at 707-287-7603



The following article is presented for the purpose of gaining information about a missing person. If you have facts related to this story, it is worth your while to read this article and consider passing on any relevant information to help solve this case.

On the evening of Saturday August 9, 2003, Chris Giauque went to the Spyrock area and met with a business partner, Ben Lomax, near the Iron Peak lookout point. This area is north of Laytonville, CA in Mendocino County. Chris was on probation for the cultivation and distribution of marijuana. He reportedly left his vehicle, a 1994 blue Toyota extra cab pickup truck, at this location as he did not want to be seen in his truck on the property that he, Ben Lomax, and Adrian Vasquez owned at 8500 Simmerly Rd., Covelo.  

Reportedly, Ben Lomax gave Chris a ride into the property.  Chris was supposedly last seen in this area around 9:00 p.m.  It was initially presumed that he may have become a robbery-homicide victim. Chris had made this trip to pick up a substantial amount of cash from Ben Lomax.  Ben had apparently let a number of people in the area know of the pending business transaction.

Description of Chris

Chris was a Caucasian, six-feet tall, weighing 145 lbs with blue eyes.  He had a full beard and sandy blond hair in dreadlocks, which were four-feet long. At the time of his disappearance, Chris was wearing a hat, orange/red Carhartt trousers and two shirts – one was red, orange and white Hawaiian print, and one is unknown.

Chris endured a lot during his relatively short life span. At ages 4 and 16, he had open heart surgery. At age 27, he had a broken back and a zirconium rod was inserted in his body. He had intensive rehabilitation therapy so that he could be free to walk again.

While Accompanied by a Lawyer and a Primary Individual of Interest, Chris Is Reported Missing by His Wife of Two Weeks

During the afternoon of Monday, August 11, 2003 Chris was reported missing by Rebecca Smiley Giauque, his wife of two weeks.  Rebecca was accompanied by Ben Lomax and Ron Sinoway, a southern Humboldt County lawyer. The report was taken at the Humboldt County Garberville Sheriffs’ substation.  

It is rather unusual that a spouse reports her husband missing while being accompanied by a lawyer and the last person who admits to seeing her husband before his disappearance.

Wife Refuses to Communicate with Chris’ Father

Bob Giauque, Chris’ father, was notified of Chris’ disappearance the evening of August 11, 2003.  When Bob made contact with Rebecca, her first comment was that she was considered a suspect in Chris’ disappearance. The following day when Bob again made contact with Rebecca, he was told that she was advised by her lawyer not to have any further communications with him. Consequently, Chris’ wife has not had any communications with Chris’ father since the day that Chris was reported missing.

The Story His Vehicle Tells

In an apparent attempt to steer the initial investigation away from Mendocino County, Chris’ vehicle was dropped off the following day in Humboldt County approximately fifty miles north of Spyrock Rd. and two miles south of Myers Flat on the Avenue of the Giants near Elk Creek Rd. This is north of the Salmon Creek area where Chris had his home.

Most likely his vehicle traveled along Bell Springs Rd., followed by Alderpoint Rd., Dyerville Loop Rd. and Elk Creek Rd to the site where it was dropped off.  Another vehicle driven by a second person followed Chris’ Toyota extra cab pickup truck and after Chris’ vehicle was abandoned, the driver was picked up by the person following the Toyota.

Chris’ Truck Cleaned Up

Chris always maintained a messy truck. When his truck was towed to the Garberville sheriff substation, it was very clean and did not have any road dust. Consequently, Chris’ vehicle must have been cleaned up either on or very close to Elk Creek Rd.

Multiple Individuals of Interest Were Not Interviewed by Law Enforcement

During the first two weeks after Chris went missing, law enforcement had hoped to interview Victor Suarez, Freddie Delgado, Scott McKinney, and Eric Barnett. Reportedly, these individuals were with Ben Lomax on the afternoon of August 9th, the day Chris went missing.

When law enforcement eventually made contact with Scott McKinney a number of weeks later, they were told to talk with his attorney. Reportedly the attorney faxed a letter to law enforcement stating that he was representing Scott McKinney, Freddie Delgado, Victor Suarez, and Eric Barnett and that none of his clients had any information regarding Chris’ disappearance.

Apparently, other than Ben Lomax and Freddie Delgado, none of the above individuals of interest were interviewed by law enforcement.

Except for Eric Barnett, all of the named individuals had interests in properties either on or very close to Simmerly Rd. Chris with Ben Lomax and Adrian Vasquez owned over 400 acres on Simmerly Rd.

Injury to Individual of Interest

On Sunday, August 10, 2003, Scott McKinney was seen with one of his forearms heavily bandaged and apparently he had sought medical attention late Saturday night or Sunday morning.  

When Scott was seen on Saturday afternoon, the day Chris went up to the property, Scott’s arm was not bandaged. Unfortunately, Chris went to the Spyrock area alone and did not take his dog or anyone with him. However, Chris always carried a knife in his fanny pack. It is possible that Chris used his knife to defend himself.

Wife Gains Control of Chris’ Assets

Less than a month after Chris was reported missing, Rebecca, with the assistance of Humboldt County civil lawyer, Kelly Walsh, filed papers in Humboldt County Superior Court to request that she be given spousal support, control of Chris’ assets, and be named the conservator of Chris’ estate. Although Bob Giauque contested this action, the court awarded the conservatorship to Rebecca because a spouse is almost always given precedence.  

Private Investigator Makes Contact with Individual of Interest

Approximately one year after Chris was reported missing, Doug Newton, a private investigator, was hired to seek information regarding Chris’ disappearance. Subsequently, Doug was in contact with Scott McKinney and was told by Scott that he would assist in any way possible to help solve Chris’ case but that he did not have any information.

When Doug asked Scott if he was willing to sign a release for the medical attention that he received on August 9th or 10th, Scott refused.

Multiple Individuals of Interest Indicted in Large Marijuana Bust 2 Years after Chris Disappeared

In a separate matter, two years after Chris disappeared, four of the above individuals were included in a federal indictment out of Fresno, California. This indictment of 15 individuals was for a very large-scale conspiracy to cultivate and distribute 4,400 pounds of marijuana.

Pursuant to the execution of search and arrest warrants in Mendocino County, agents arrested Freddie Allen Delgado. Thereafter, Victor Raul Suarez, Jr., Benjamin Jeffrey Lomax, and Scott Arthur McKinney turned themselves into federal law enforcement authorities in San Francisco.

Information regarding this federal indictment was in a September 8, 2005 news release by a US Attorney for the Eastern District of California.  

After 7 Years, Chris Is Declared Dead and His Death Certificate Is Purged

On September 9, 2010 an order that established the fact of death for Chris Giauque was signed in Humboldt County Superior Court. Kelly Walsh, Rebecca’s civil lawyer, had Chris’ death certificate purged and kept confidential.

There was no apparent will for Chris Giauque. Chris did not have any children. Eventually his assets were distributed with 50% going to his wife, Rebecca, and 50% to his parents.

It is extremely sad to lose a family member to untimely death, particularly murder. What happened to Chris can also happen to others who grow and process marijuana in the Spyrock area.  A life is worth substantially more than whatever money is gained.

Father Offers $200,000 Reward

In February of 2012, Bob Giauque, the father of Chris Giauque, established a $200,000 reward fund. A sum of $150,000 was offered for information leading to the arrest and subsequent conviction of the individuals responsible for this homicide.  An additional sum of $50,000 was offered for information that  would lead to the recovery of Chris’ remains.  A trust account with these funds was established at Luther Burbank Savings in Santa Rosa, CA.

Father Doubles Reward Offer to $400,000. $200,000 is Offered for Information Leading to the Recovery of Chris’ Remains

Although a vast number of leads and information has been received since the initial reward was established during 2012, Chris’ remains have not been located. In October 2020, Bob Giauque doubled the reward offer to $400,000. Chris Giauque deserves to have a proper family burial.  A sum of $200,000 is being offered for information that leads to the recovery of Chris’ remains. An additional sum of $200,000 is offered for information that leads to the arrest and subsequent conviction of the individuals responsible for this homicide.

Reward Funds Remain Available Should Anything Happen to Father

If anything should ever happen to Bob Giauque, the reward funds will remain available through calendar year 2024 from the person responsible for handling Bob’s estate. Should something happen to Bob, law enforcement agencies in the surrounding counties are very well informed about the facts of this case.

Anyone with information can contact Chris’ father, Bob Giauque, at 707-865-0933, send email messages to bob@chrisreward.org, or mail at P.O. Box 609, Monte Rio, CA 95462 .  Information can also be given to Dawn King, a private investigator.  Dawn can be reached at 707-287-7603 or she can receive email messages at dawntodawninvestigations@gmail.com and mail at 5024 Coombsville Rd., Napa, CA 94558.

A Primary Individual of Interest Writes a Letter to the Editor of a Local Newspaper

As a consequence of the posting of the reward fund on the Internet, Scott McKinney wrote the following Letter to the Editor for the Anderson Valley Advertiser. The newspaper published the letter on February 29, 2012.


I am writing in response to the article regarding the disappearance of Chris Giauque. The article was composed of some facts, some theories, and the ludicrous speculation that I was somehow involved.

A critical fact left out of the article is that I, Scott McKinney, have passed a polygraph examination proving that I had nothing to do with Mr. Chris Giauque’s disappearance, and the results of this polygraph examination have been provided to law enforcement. Let the record be clear: I had nothing to do with this tragedy. I love this community very much, and I have worked hard to earn respect.

I have a family of my own, and I empathize with the anguish suffered by all involved. My heart goes out to Mr. Giauque’s family, and I wish the family closure on this issue. Accordingly, I am willing to add to the reward money so that whoever is involved can be brought to justice. I, too, want justice for Chris Giauque and his family.

Again, I have passed a polygraph on this matter, and I am willing to add to the reward money. That should be part of the discussion.


Scott McKinney

Humboldt County

Results of Polygraph Tests  

Apparently local law enforcement is not aware of the results of a polygraph test taken by Scott McKinney. It appears that Scott does not have any connection with Humboldt County. Scott presently owns multiple properties in Fort Bragg. With respect to the reward fund that was established in 2012, Scott never contributed any money to the fund.

Scott McKinney sold most of his interest in properties located on Spyrock in the Simmerly Rd. area within two years after Chris Giauque was reported missing.

During recent years, Scott McKinney has acquired additional properties on Spyrock.


Information published on the Internet clearly shows a deep scar approximately 5” long on the outside of the left forearm of Scott McKinney.

Scott had previously told private investigator Doug Newton that his arm was injured as a consequence of a self inflicted accident.

Chris’ Homicide Case Was Possibly a Setup

During 2002 and 2003, Chris was incarcerated in a federal prison for approximately 16 months for cultivating and the distribution of marijuana. Chris returned to his home in Salmon Creek around June 2003 and got married the following month.

Chris had approximately $150,000 due from Ben Lomax for income earned on the Spyrock property while Chris was in prison. Unverified information has been received which states that the killing was a setup. Reportedly Ben Lomax did not have the funds owed to Chris. Supposedly when Chris met the individuals, he knifed Scott McKinney while being overpowered. Subsequently Chris was killed and his body was transported off of the property.