By Frank Parlato
Officially, Kristin Snyder is a presumptive suicide. She went missing Feb. 6, 2003 – almost 20 years ago.
Her body was never found.
MK10ART’s painting of Elaine Smiloff. Miller’s Landing is in the background.
Elaine Smiloff said she drove Kristin Snyder from her ESP intensive to her home in Anchorage on Feb. 6, 2003.
Elaine was the last person known to see Kristin alive.
A kayak was stolen from Miller’s Landing, and police found Kristin’s Toyota Tacoma pickup truck nearby.
Elaine Smiloff first called me on August 2017.
This was after I broke the DOS story and before the New York Times wrote its first story on NXIVM and DOS.
Elaine said she had to tell somebody a secret she had harbored for 15 years. Kristin claimed to be pregnant with Keith Raniere’s child.
Heidi Clifford corroborated Elaine’s story. Heidi said Kristin claimed she was pregnant. Nobody told that to the Snyder family. Nobody told police. Nobody put that in print.
Nobody reported that until I did in 2017.
Suddenly 15 years later, two people said it.
I asked Clifford why she withheld this from the police. She said she was afraid it would point suspicion at her.
She said she did not think it was true.
Kristin Snyder was in Albany in January 2002 – within a month of her disappearance.
So was Raniere. Did they meet?
Kristin Keeffe says they did not meet.
Susan Dones saw Snyder in Albany.
Elaine supposedly picked up Kristin Snyder at the Westmark Hotel and took her to her home on Glen Kerry Rd in Anchorage.
Elaine pulled into the driveway with Kristin, she said, and let her out – to go into the house alone – and never be seen again. T
If Elaine’s story is true, she dropped off a clearly unstable woman – alone – at her home and left her there – alone.
Heidi claims Esther told her Elaine was going to stay with Kristin until Heidi got home.
Elaine didn’t stay, she says.
Elaine told me it haunted her for years – that Kristin, in her unstable condition, could not have driven from Anchorage to Seward on the night of February 6, 2003.
So why was she left alone?
Because Elaine was the last person to see Snyder alive, the police were interested in interviewing her – but they did not question her alone, according to Elaine.
Elaine said police interviewed her with Esther Chiappone Carlson. With Esther in the room, Elaine said she did not mention Snyder’s claim she was pregnant.
If it is true, Elaine, like Clifford, withheld that Kristin claimed to be pregnant with the leader of the group that arranged her care on the day she disappeared.
But what about the suicide note? It blames NXIVM.
Would Keith allow a suicide note that blamed his teachings?
Raniere said, “Kristin faked her own death to escape her drug-running past.”
There are many questions and more information. Kristin Keeffe has said she has evidence Snyder is still alive.
This possibly is corroborated by some information I received.
Clare Bronfman hired an investigative team to find Kristin Snyder in 2014. I met with them in 2018 and 2019.
One of them, Mathew Mallone, told me Raniere and Bronfman told them Snyder was alive and had Keith’s child.
Odd, Bronfman hired Mallone and his group to find two Kristins — Snyder and Keeffe – and both were said to have his child.
Matt Mallone said he was retained to find Kristin Snyder and told she was alive and had Keith’s child.
Mallone traced both Kristins to Florida. He quit Bronfman after they found Keeffe at my house.
That’s a story for another day.
Several years later, I went with Mallone to Bradenton, where they said they traced Snyder.
We did not find her. But shortly after, I received a phone number said to be Snyder’s. A living Kristin Snyder now in her 50s.
I called the number. No answer. I left a message. I said who I was, and that if it was Kristin – Raniere was in prison -she need not hide anymore.
I saved the number on my phone under Kristin Snyder.
The strange thing was I did not get any immediate return call. Then several months later, at 2 am, a phone call came. I was asleep.
But there it was, a missed call from Kristin Snyder. Did she have a second thought late at night? I called months ago. Unless the person saved my number, it would likely not be still on the phone.
Why would some stranger save my number?
And why did someone call at 2 am? I called in the morning. No answer. I left another message. But they never returned the call.
There are many more missing pieces to this puzzle, like a mysterious photograph in Arizona. And then there is the shed.
None of this may be anything other than a wild goose chase. The official story may be true.
I told an old timer from Resurrection Bay, who knew the waters. I said I wanted to find Kristin Snyder.
He told me if she fell into those cold February waters, and nobody found the body right away:
“The dungeness crabs got her long ago. She would have disappeared without a trace.”
There was something spooky and weird about that image of those crabs that I was reluctant to dismiss.
But then there was the strange suicide theory, the pregnancy, and the mystery of how the truck left the hotel without Kristin, who was driven home by Elaine.
Then the truck winds up at Resurrection Bay. And Heidi Clifford told the state troopers to look for Kristin there within a few hours of her leaving with Elaine.
And over the years, people seemed to have spotted her.
Did she want to escape and lead a new life?
If I found her alive tomorrow, and she did not want to be known, what would I do?
What would you do?