CAMP VARNUM, R.I. — A National Guardsman assigned to the 243rd Regional Training Institute Training Regiment missing and feared dead since Friday resurfaced after awakening in a Narragansett cave Sunday morning.
Spc. Yeshua Christo, 33, vanished Friday after going out with friends to celebrate the end of their unit’s two week training cycle. He and a group of twelve were at Jim’s Dock Restaurant in nearby Jerusalem eating and drinking wine at a back table for much of the afternoon, but witnesses say things looked ‘off’ and the scene had a definite theme of finality about it.
“This one fella in the middle was the only one really talking,” said patron Adaiah Paki. “He was passing his wine glass and sharing his plate with the others while lecturing them about something. The other guys looked really nervous. I don’t know, it’s like they knew something bad was about to go down.”
A native of Bethlehem, Pa., Christo, was later seen hanging around for several hours with two well-known local thieves; both believed to be the last people that spoke to him. A fisherman coming to shore around midnight saw two figures carrying a third toward a large rock formation, but said he didn’t give it much thought.
“I just figured it was drunks or the usual late night riff-raff,” said Holter Chase, of Narragansett, “I feel bad now because I wouldn’t want my son hung out to dry like that.”
Police and search teams canvassed the area for the next day and a half, before Christo finally returned Sunday morning with some cuts and scratches, but well-rested and in good spirits. Friends were relieved to have the ordeal behind them, and their fellow Guardsman back in time for Easter services.
“Yeshua is just a great dude – would sacrifice himself for anybody,” said Sgt. John Zebedee, “plus he does carpentry work for a lot of us, and booze seems to just appear whenever he shows up to a party. Friday was good until he vanished, but thank God he’s back now.”
When questioned about Friday night and his whereabouts while unaccounted for, Christo remained coy.
“I told everybody I’d be back,” he prophesized. “Have a little faith.”