Ekaterina Shcherbakova

Left: Ekaterina circa, 1998

Right: Age Progressed to age 29

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

Missing Since: April 5, 1998

Missing From: Monterey, Monterey County, California

Classification: Endangered Runaway

Date Of Birth: February 25, 1985

Age: 13 years old

Height and Weight: 5’3″ and 110 pounds

Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian Female, Brown hair, Green eyes, Ekaterina has a scar on her left ankle and her nickname is “Katie”

NCMEC Number: 849820

Details of Disappearance

Ekaterina was last seen in Monterey, California on April 5th 1998. She left her home on Casanova Street to go to a friends residence on the corner of San Pablo Avenue and Judson Street in the Seaside area. Her friend told authorities that Ekaterina stayed until approximately 8:00 pm and last saw her walking towards Fremont Boulevard on her way back home.

Ekaterina never arrived home and her mother has not seen or heard from her since. Her mother originally reported her missing as a possible abduction victim. She does not believe her daughter was abducted or killed but believes Ekaterina ran away to start a new life for herself.

Her belief that her daughter left on her own was confirmed when she noticed that some of Ekaterina’s clothing was missing from her room. She also hung up posters around the area with her photograph on it. After this, she received several dropped phone calls and various people reported seeing her in the local area after her disappearance.

Her mother also recalled how Ekaterina fell in with the wrong crowd when she was in the 6th grade. She had many good friends in Foothill Elementary School but didn’t to the district guidelines, she was to attend King Middle School. She reportedly got into quite a bit of trouble and as a result, she was transferred to Fitch Middle School. She was put into a class for children with behavioral problems.

By the time Ekaterina returned to King Middle School, her relationship with her mother was strained and her mother felt they coding really connect as well as they could before. The police and the FBI at the time also concluded that Ekaterina left on her own accord.

In 2010, a man named Charles Allen Holifield was named as a possible suspect in Ekaterina’s disappearance. He is believed to have committed multiple crimes against women since 1979 in the Monterey area of California. He was also charged with the 1998 murder of Christina Marie Williams.

Williams, a 12 year old girl, was last seen walking her dog on June 12th 1998. She left her home at 7:30 pm in the Fort Ord military base area of Seaside, CA. She was presumably abducted by a stranger at the time. Her dog eventually returned home without her. It would take several months to find her.

On January 12th 1999, a ecological surveyor discovered Christina’s remains on a small nature preserve that belonged to the University of California. The remains were skeletal and baldy deteriorated and were recovered from a wooded area. They were identified as belonging to Christina via dental records soon afterwards. Her cause of death could not be determined at the time but evidence pointed towards murder.

The remains had been found only 3 miles away from where Christina was abducted. Searches were done in that area when the investigation started and no remains were there. Authorities believe that they were placed there at a later date.

Charles was considered a suspect in the case for many years until his arrest in April of 2017. The California Department of Justice Crime Laboratory re-tested Christina’s underwear that was found on her body for any possible DNA evidence left behind by her killer. They were able to recover semen samples which were matched to Charles via DNA.

He was charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, and first degree murder in relation to Christina’s murder. He was already serving a life sentence at the time of his arrest. He was previously convicted of raping and strangling a 14 year old girl from Monterey and attempting to kidnap a 18 year old girl in the early 1980s.

Holifield also attempted to abduct a female jogger at gunpoint on September 13th 1998. She was able to escape him and he was charged with this case as well. In March of 2020, he was found guilty of all charges brought against him in Christina’s case. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Investigators have considered his possible involvement in Ekaterina’s disappearance because both her and Christina had attended Fitch Middle School. Holifield’s brother’s home was only blocks away from where Ekaterina was last seen and he would’ve crossed paths with her that night while driving in the area.

Investigators have found no conclusive evidence to link him to her case. Her mother holds onto hope that her daughter is safe and unharmed and that Holifield did not kill her.

Ekaterina’s family immigrated to the United States form Russia in 1990 when she was just 5 years old. Her mother recalls that she was happy, strong, and kind hearted towards others. She continues to hope Ekaterina is alive and will contact her one day.

Ekaterina’s disappearance remains classified as an endangered runaway and her case remains unsolved. Her current whereabouts are unknown. She might be in the Seaside, California area or in the local area.

Investigating Agency

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

Monterey Police Department 831-646-3830

Source Information

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

The Polly Klass Foundation

The Charley Project

The Doe Network


Monterey Herald

The Monterey County Herald

The Criminal Journal