The two images on the right are age-progressed to 23 and 29 years.
Name: Crystal Gayle Dittmeyer
Case Classification: Endangered Missing
Missing Since: June 13, 1996
Location Last Seen: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: April 26, 1984
Age: 12 yrs old
Weight: 113 lbs
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Hazel
Distinguishing Marks/Features: Crystal has a scar on her forehead, near her hairline.
Dentals: Not Available
Fingerprints: Not Available
Clothing: White t-shirt with a ying-yang design with a red and blue patch embroidered on the front, blue jean shorts.
Jewelry: Ying-yang necklace.
Additional Personal Items: None
Dittmeyer was last seen at her residence in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on June 13, 1996. She was reported missing after her mother returned to their home at the Pickwick Apartments, 2701 W Interstate 240, and found a small bloodstain on her daughter's bedroom carpet. Crystal’s friend reported she was last seen at the apartment swimming pool with an injured hand. None of Crystal's personal items were missing.
Crystal’s stepfather Benjamin Crider II was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in 1998 and brought back to Oklahoma from Kentucky. Crider and Crystal’s mother, Tammy Austin, had been married only a few months. They divorced in 1997. Crider had been a suspect in Crystal’s disappearance from the start. His trial lasted seven weeks. Crystal's half-brother told police that the day Crystal disappeared, he saw Crystal "laying on her back, motionless, with her eyes open, looking straight up with her legs out." The boy told his stepfather and a foster parent that he couldn't understand why Crystal was a missing child when she was dead in the apartment.
Detectives believe Ben Crider, who was a registered nurse for the state Health Department, used his state vehicle to remove Crystal's body from the apartment. He was accused of hiding Crystal's body in a garment bag, moving her in his state car, then moving her again two days later in his truck to a creek near Yukon. The area was searched but Crystal has not been found.
Mr. Crider had bite marks on his arm shortly after her disappearance, leading police to believe that he was involved. Police found DNA evidence in the vehicle consistent with Crystal's blood type. In the apartment, they found a blood-soaked towel and blood on the carpet, a table leg, jeans, a bra and a bedspread. During a second search of the apartment, officers found an empty bottle of hydrogen peroxide. Prosecutors told jurors Crider struck Crystal after catching her breaking a rule forbidding showers in his bathroom.
In 1999, Benjamin Crider II was found guilty of murdering his stepdaughter and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Agency Name: Oklahoma City Police Departmen
Agency Contact Person: Detective Sergeant Don Hull
Agency Phone Number: 405-297-1000
Agency E-Mail: N/A
Agency Case Number: 9605952
NCIC Case Number: M-937272596
NamUs Case Number: 4457
NCMEC Case Number: 819583
The Shawnee News-Star
Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation
Added: Prior to 2011; Last Updated: 5/10/2017
Questions or comments? Please contact appropriate member of the Area Team
** Listed information is from the time of disappearance.