Christopher Marks Dead; Missing Affton Boy Found in Meramec River

Christopher Marks, the 12-year-old Affton boy who went missing during an outing at the Pacific Palisades Conservation Area, has died, police say.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to disallow comments due to violations of our commenting policy. Thanks to all who participated in the conversation with respect.

Christopher Marks, the 12-year-old boy whose disappearance at the Meramec River Sunday night captivated thousands across the country, was found dead late Tuesday afternoon, according to the St. Louis County Police.

Police said the body was found by Todd Combs—Christopher’s stepfather and the only adult supervising the outing of about seven children—at the Allenton boat ramp access, about six miles east of where Christopher was last seen on a rope swing over the Meramec River in the Pacific Palisades Conservation Area.

Alcohol was present, and family members said Christopher had been drinking.

Police brought teams of divers, bloodhounds and walkers to search the river and rugged terrain where he was last seen but found no clues to his whereabouts.

While it seems highly unlikely that the currents were fast enough to transport the body, police officers are still circling the air and trying to determine the speed of the currents.

Experts said the river's current near where Christopher was last seen was not very strong because of the lack of rain. 

Police will do a reconstruction of events as part of the investigation.

The autopsy should show a time of death and possible other clues as to the cause of death. The time of death could help police understand whether the body was transported by water or by other means.

Christopher was enrolled to attend Rogers Middle School in Affton as a seventh grader.  He would have turned 13-years-old on September 21.

Christopher’s great-aunt Donna Sherman, of Sunset Hills, said he and his twin sister, Anna-Marie, have shared a twin telepathy since they were young.

“They were nothing alike, but they felt one another’s pain,” Sherman said. “Anna-Marie felt Chris last night, but today she’s just feeling empty.”

Despite that chilling premonition, Christopher’s family held out hopes that he simply left or ran away from the scene. He was a Boy Scout and enjoyed swimming. He’d also learned how to survive in the wilderness.

Christopher’s grandmother, Lisa Miskimon, posted on Patch to thank the Affton community for their support.

“This is the most horrible thing my family has gone through, and I would like to thank all of the wonderful people in our hometown for all their prayers and all the comments that are posted here,” she said.

For more, here are the articles we've done so far, most recent last:

Harvey Spectre August 21, 2012 at 03:13 AM
continued..... Then, if he truly grew up in this "disfunctional family" as you have so eloquently have put it, then where did he learn these traits? From whom or where did his character develope? These kind of traits are not learned in a Negative atmosphere. He had many positive role models to look up to in and out of the home; like his uncles, aunts, grandparents, sisters, Dad and Scout Leaders..... He vivaciously displayed the never give up mentality with attitude. May you rest in peace Chris.
Alexandria Hamilton August 21, 2012 at 03:38 AM
Then please Harvey, who am I? Would you like my credentials and background? My Phd in psychology? Enlighten me, heck stop by for a chat and lets discuss what is and is not acceptable parenting? Lets discuss what happens to the next child under Mr. Combs stellar guardianship.
Samantha Miskimon August 21, 2012 at 04:16 AM
your to blame then miss know it all
Samantha Miskimon August 21, 2012 at 04:18 AM
well heres one your confused in dumb bitch todd marks is his real father who does not drink at all o and by the way this is tony sams husband
Samantha Miskimon August 21, 2012 at 04:24 AM
heres another one of your posts you dumb bitch /Alexandria Hamilton 3:01 pm on Thursday, August 16, 2012 Again Jacqueline this is why people have said that you may also want to look in to anger management. You are spewing ALOT of negativity and it shows that you are very close to the SCUM - TODD MARKS
Samantha Miskimon August 21, 2012 at 04:26 AM
Alexandria Hamilton 3:01 pm on Thursday, August 16, 2012 Again Jacqueline this is why people have said that you may also want to look in to anger management. You are spewing ALOT of negativity and it shows that you are very close to the SCUM - TODD MARKS
Samantha Miskimon August 21, 2012 at 04:30 AM
you have bad mouthed todd marks in a bunch of your posts if you truly know the family you would know the difference and again this is tony not sam if you have some thing to say please say it in person to them
Elizabeth Combs August 21, 2012 at 05:22 AM
That is a good question, Alexandria, WHO ARE YOU???? I would like to know since you claim to know me and my family. Obviously you don't since you said that I drink and everyone knows I don't which by the way, if you don't recognize my name, I am Christopher's mother. You live near my mother, huh? So what's my mother's name and what street does she live on? Better yet, what's the house address? We don' t know this name you are using therefore discredits any more crap from you. I wasn't there, so you all know, because I AM ALLERGIC TO SUNLIGHT! But if you really knew me, you would know that since I have been since I was 16 yrs old. Nice Pen Name, but it can be discovered who you really are, since I think you are the lady across the street that has nothing better to do than make bogus calls of my house causing peace disturbances when we aren't even outside.
Jacqueline Harrison August 21, 2012 at 10:30 AM
WOW, see what has happened Alexandria...this is specifically why I commented that this blog is not the place for your negative ignorance...really sad individual you are... :(((
Alexandria Hamilton August 21, 2012 at 01:27 PM
No - this is the place. Wake up Elizabeth Combs. You knew the person that you are married to is an addict and a very sick man yet you allowed your children to be alone in his supervision and for him to drive Illegally from your home to the river. On top of that he bought liquor that he gave to your children. Can one person drink all that liquor alone and if he can do you want him getting that intoxicated and supervising your children at the river? This is a very sad case because you will NEVER wake up and protect your children by getting away from him. Look at the police records...I don't live by YOU but there have been how many calls for disturbance and domestic? How many of your children have to suffer this abuse and neglect? Can you answer for your choices for letting your children go ALONE with him to the River on a suspended license? No - don't bother with your denials and lies. I pray that those children do not suffer more at his hands. Unfortunately, every time you take him back, they are the ones to suffer. Don't you even realize that? My God bless you with the knowledge of how to protect your children.
maria miskimon August 21, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Im Chris's aunt, Beth's sister. My family and i have been through so much in the past few weeks. We are going to go through so much more. People that say they know us don't, because they don't know the whole story. We have little children and don't u think that by u saying things bout what u don't know will get back to the children. Enough is enough. Alexandria ur not very smart, u need to leave my family alone. U don't have the
Jacqueline Harrison August 21, 2012 at 01:53 PM
NO it is NOT the place A Hamilton!!!
maria miskimon August 21, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Balls to show u face to my family. Get a life!!!!!
Michelle White P-Chak August 21, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Alexandria- can you just leave a grieving family alone? If you knew so much 3 wks ago- why didn't you do something to stop the behavior.... Oh that's right- because you didn't. You are hiding behind an alias name- get a life and leave this family alone!!! Unless you have a PERFECT life- stop getting out your magnifying glass to judge this family!! I don't think any of us would ever want to bury a child- RIP Chris- let his family grieve like they should be instead of dealing with this slander!!!
maria miskimon August 21, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Alexandria nobody is saying Todd combs is the perfect guy, step-dad. My family wants him in jail for what has happened. So don't u how the fck my sister is feeling. Shut ur mouth. U have nothing better to do but to bash my family. Did u say u have children? Need I say more. U really need to stop the bashing. The whole family is dealing with what's to come. U really don't know shit. ENOUGH
maria miskimon August 21, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Thank u mrs.white. I think some people have forgotten this is Chris
maria miskimon August 21, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Sorry this is bout Chris.
Alexandria Hamilton August 21, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Did you know? Did you try to do anything? Please, don't judge my comments as they are truthful and by getting out the truth just maybe the other children will be safe...
Alex Pehle August 21, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Ok, here is the deal. Alexandria the things you are saying are considered slander. If you choose to continue youre slander, the authorities will be notified and charges will be brought up against you.And that goes for everyone else slanderizing my family. Enough is Enough, Let my brother rest in peace. And by continuing to try to blame and point fingers is not letting him rest in peace. Like I said before, the truth will come out. Until then keep your unwarranted opinion to yourself. And Alexandria, My mother's husband is to blame.period. my mother doesn't drink and has never done drugs. and honestly my mother is 37, if she wants to have a drink she can. Just stay out of my families lives. You don't know us,obviously, and we have had it with your "My life is perfect" attitude. and you said you have kids, what are they doing while youre on here 24/7? Obviously you are or lying about kids considering you put your 2 cents in on like every article about my brother. Worry about your life and family and just leave us alone and shut up.
Alexandria Hamilton August 21, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Afterthought, I NEVER said that I knew what was going on 3 weeks ago. That is an assumption made on here. But all who have known - aka the family - should have done something so that the child wasn't hurt. It's all good to say what it but when it comes down to it the mother knew what kind of person the stepfather was. So who is going to protect the other children? Because authorities haven't been able to do so and neither has the family...RIP Christopher may you find comfort in the lords embrace.
Alex Pehle August 21, 2012 at 03:46 PM
And btw, no one has been to the comb's residence since my brother was found. So what is your real name alexandria hamilton?
Lindsay Toler August 21, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Hi all. I just want to ask that we keep this conversation polite and civil. The real story here is about Chris' untimely passing, and we here at Patch are trying to tell his story with respect and compassion. His is a tragic story that still stays with me. I'd like to send my prayers out once again to his family, friends and anyone touched by Chris' death. -LT
Ken Jones August 21, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Agree with Maria M's last 2 posts. And Alex P, it's not slander when most of it is based on facts, I studied law a long time ago. And Lindsay, you are redirecting this back to the true victim, Chris, thank you.
Alexandria Hamilton August 21, 2012 at 07:52 PM
As I have commented, in the end the facts will come out and hope beyond all hope this child will get justice. I haven't meant ill will to the family and as I have said I send my prayers to everyone involved. But, facts are facts about Todd Combs and the DFS reports on the mother, not speculation. All I have conveyed is that this is a true tragedy and I hope that the authorities investigate ALL involved parties not just the stepfather. Regardless the nature of the beast, as others have posted there have been children saved from those who have laid out truth and provided protection for all involved. As the family has stated that they know who I am, send me an email and I would be happy to discuss in private. Or rather, make an appointment and we can start up some sessions.
Samantha Miskimon August 21, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Since our family don't know you, how do we set up an appointment with you? My mother would love to get to meet you since she has NO IDEA who you are. And it is sad that the editor or our lawyer had to get involved to get you to stop slandering our family. And if you really want someone to blame you should call the dfs worker that stated "they are a happy family" when the family tried to help!
Alexandria Hamilton August 21, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Weird, didn't Ken Jones state "IT"S NOT SLANDER WHEN IT IS BASED ON FACTS" Guess I read that wrong too?
Jacqueline Harrison August 21, 2012 at 09:06 PM
LT- I really do think it is time to close this blog, seriously! It is just not right for the family to have to read this CRAP on here!! This is not right at all!!
Michelle White P-Chak August 21, 2012 at 09:15 PM
PLEASE Affton Patch turn this blog off!!!! Nobody needs to read all of these statements- the police will find who was wrong- that is not up to us!!!! This family needs closure and peace- none of which they are getting reading all of the negative comments!!!
Jacqueline Harrison August 21, 2012 at 09:24 PM
I agree, this blog needs to be shut off!! It's not right...
Lindsay Toler August 21, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Editor's note: This article has been updated to disallow comments due to violations of our commenting policy. Thanks to all who participated in the conversation with respect.


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