Lea Porter disappearance: Chris Waide busted on suspicion of sex assault, murder

Update below: On Tuesday, the Westminster Police Department put out an alert for Lea Chali Porter, a nineteen-year-old from the Pueblo area who'd been reported missing five days earlier after a visit to north metro.

At this writing, Porter has not yet been found. However, Christopher Waide, a friend of Porter's who's been putting out social media calls for help finding her, has been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and first-degree murder. Photos and details below.

The Help Find Lea Porter Facebook page features numerous photos and missing posters of Porter, as well as a screen capture from a Tumblr page that offers an indication of her values: While the missing persons report on Porter was filed on the 5th, the Canon City Daily Record quotes Porter's mom, Rene Jackson, as saying she's actually been gone since June 3. In a June 11 article, Jackson told the newspaper Porter and her boyfriend had spent the night at the Castle Rock Inn in Castle Rock on June 2. However, Porter is said to have been upset that her boyfriend was moving out of state and traveled to Westminster on the 3rd to stay with what's described as "a male friend" with whom she'd gone to school.

CBS4 identifies that friend as Waide, seen in the following Facebook photo:

Porter's car was found abandoned at Waide's apartment building; it's been impounded. As for Waide, the Daily Record reports that he initially told police Porter had received a phone call at about 11 p.m. on June 3 and split. According to him, he last saw her leaving in a light-colored truck.

Since then, Waide has placed numerous items about Porter on his Facebook page. For instance, he shared the following poster on June 6 under the line "Please share this. We just want to know she is safe. We miss her very much:"

Continue for more about Lea Porter's disappearance and Christopher Waide's arrest, including additional photos. The next day, June 7, and twice on June 9, Waide put up another poster.... ...along with similar entreaties. The first item reads, "MISSING: LEA PORTER. PLEASE SHARE THIS ANYONE/EVERYONE!!!!" The second says, "My friend, Lea from Colorado is missing since Tuesday. I'm really sad and scared. If you live around Canon City or Denver, please let me or family know if you've seen her. THANKS!" And the third simply states, "Please Lea come back to us."

Yesterday, however, Waide allegedly presented a very different story. According to CBS4, Porter's brother and her boyfriend traveled to his Westminster apartment, and during a subsequent conversation between them at a park, Waide allegedly "confessed to her murder and said how he did it."

Moreover, the conversation was reportedly recorded.

Thus far, the Westminster Police Department hasn't confirmed these details, but (update) moments after this post went live, a spokesperson revealed that Waide has been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and first-degree murder. Here's a look at his booking photo:

Waide is on a no-bond hold. He'll make his first court appearance on Monday.

In the meantime, our hearts go out to the friends, family and loved ones of Lea Chali Porter, seen below in additional photos from the Help Find Lea Porter Facebook page.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our News archive circa April 2013: "Kelsie Jean Schelling, missing Denver woman, was pregnant when she disappeared."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts