The remains found in a burned-out car in March have been identified by the Lebanon Police Department. After more than three decades of wondering what happened, the family is now speaking out.
According to the police, Stephen E. Winn, 71, was the owner of the remains. In Kansas City, where he resided with his wife, Khristine, and their children, Winn vanished in August 1991. His family reportedly lost contact with him for 32 years, according to the police.
Just layers of reaction, that’s all. First of all, it was shocking,” the oldest granddaughter, Chrissy George, said. Her grandfather vanished when she was a young child.
“It sounds so icy, but amazement was the feeling. You’re shocked that after a family mystery spanning more than 30 years, you finally have answers and understand what happened, George said.
Police discovered that Stephen applied for and was issued an Illinois driver’s license using the name Khristine Winn two years after he vanished. Later, Khristine wed Robert Bechard, taking his last name, and adopted it as her own. Long ago, Robert passed away. After moving around, the two ended up living in Camdenton.
Around 2:00 a.m. on March 19, Lebanon firefighters extinguished a car fire in the parking lot of the Budget Inn hotel at 1140 Millcreek Road. The location of Khristine’s remains was discovered.
Authorities also looked into the ownership of the vehicle where Winn’s remains were discovered. Numerous items discovered by the investigators helped them locate Khristine Bechard, a resident of Camdenton. It turns out that Bechard previously used the alias of Khristine Winn, Stephen’s wife. Investigators claim that when Khristine Winn’s relatives were contacted, it was learned that she had passed away in 2018.
Detectives visited the Camdenton house that had just been sold.
In 1993, she got married. There was evidence to suggest that this specific incident was probably self-inflicted. Additionally, there were a number of items that belonged to Stephen Winn’s kids, according to Lebanon Police Department Detective Sgt. Kacie Springer.
It was a special case, according to Sgt. Springer.
“This is a very unusual circumstance. It’s a tragic tale. for each of the parties. It’s heartbreaking to learn later that this person was very much alive and has since passed away, said Sgt. Springer. “You have a family whose father, their loved one, went missing 30-plus years ago and took the identity of someone else, and they had no idea they thought that this person was perhaps dead,” he said.
According to police, Khristine Bechar committed suicide. She had been in a 1979 Chrysler New Yorker when it was found.
According to George, the family is finding some solace even though they are still processing.
George said, “At least we can find solace in the knowledge that if he wasn’t with us and sharing our life, he was sharing his life with someone else who you know, appreciated it. You can tell that through the letters that they very much appreciated each other.”