Suspect in disappearance of Pueblo woman appears in court


(Credit: Westminster Police Department)

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BRIGHTON, Colo. -- A Westminster man accused of killing a 19-year-old Pueblo woman faced a judge for the first time Monday morning. Christopher Waide is charged with murder and sexual assault related to the death and disappearance of Lea Porter.

Police have not found the remains of Porter but are confident she's no longer alive. Her family is still in disbelief over her death.

"It's just amazing to see how many people loved her out there," Porter's mother Rene Jackson said.

Jackson doesn't know what happened to her daughter. She says Porter came to visit Waide, 23, at a Westminster apartment on June 3.

"We've kind of started the focus of the investigation there because that was the last place she was seen," Westminster Police Department spokeswoman Cheri Spottke said.

Two days later, Jackson reported Porter missing. And Waide even posted on his Facebook page that he was looking for Porter, saying "Please come back to us."

Now he's charged with her death. He was in court Monday and will return at 10 a.m. Friday for a bond hearing. All documents remain sealed in the case. Police will also return to a Commerce City landfill looking for any sign of Porter's body.

"We're going to continue work hard and keep working hard to make sure we have a solid case," Spottke said.

Later Monday, Westminster Police said detectives are still actively searching for Porter and because of "the ongoing investigation we are unable to speak specifically on what the search entails, or where we are specifically looking."

While Porter's mother waits to hear, she hopes the focus will remain on her daughter's legacy.

"She was a beautiful, happy, person that just loved everybody and everybody was so blessed to have her in their life because she brought everybody up," Jackson said.

Police won't confirm reports that Porter's family helped catch Waide by getting him to confess.

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