Libby Caldwell says it’s been more than six years since her best friend, Lisa Wallace went missing. She says the years of uncertainty have been tough.
“That is the hardest part, is not knowing if your friend is okay, if she’s hurt, if she’s sick, if she’s alive. I don’t even know if my best friend is alive,” Caldwell says to News 3’s Mikhaela Singleton.
Lisa Wallace was married to Chris Wallace before she disappeared without a trace on October 27, 2012. Chris Wallace was the shooter involved in Friday’s assault on Auburn Police Officer Justin Sanders.
As News 3 reported, Officer Sanders pulled Chris over in a Dollar General parking lot as a potential suspect in a local pharmacy robbery. Chris reportedly shot Sanders before he and a female companion drove off. Law enforcement tracked the two to an apartment complex on Stonegate Drive.
Police now say evidence suggests Chris committed murder-suicide upon himself and his female companion before a fire broke out in the apartment. Investigations into Chris’ past now reveal Eufaula PD named him as a person of interest in his wife Lisa’s disappearance.
The Life of Lisa Wallace
Libby Caldwell says from the first moment she and Lisa met, they were inseperable.
“We worked together at a restaurant in Gulf Shores,” Caldwell explains. “From the first minute we met, we just knew we would be best friends. She helped me, I helped her, she was my sister.”
Seeing each other every day, Calwell says it was hard not to notice Lisa’s constant injuries that she admitted came from Chris.
“This one time I went to hug her and she winced, and I said to her, Lisa what’s going on, why are you flinching? Lifted up her shirt and there were bruises all down her ribs.”
“She came in one day so beat up that our boss thought she had been in a wreck, and he told her she could not work behind the bar with her face busted up like that,” Caldwell recalls.
She says she constantly begged Lisa to report Chris for domestic violence.
“She just loved him so much and she wanted it to work.”
Then, Lisa was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Caldwell says Chris convinced Lisa to move with him to Eufaula to be closer to the University of Alabama Birmingham Medical Center.
“He wanted to be closer to his family and UAB was closer, but she did not want to go,” Caldwell remembers. “She had no friends or family in Eufaula and she did not want to leave her support system.”
In fact, Caldwell says Lisa was so worried, she left a letter with Caldwell before she left.
“The letter said if anything were to happen to her, call police to look at Chris first.”
Then in 2011, Lisa gave birth to a daughter, who she named after Libby Caldwell. She says Lisa was overjoyed, thinking her cancer made children impossible. Caldwell says she believes her daughter’s birth was a huge turning point for Lisa to recognize Chris’ abuse.
“She wanted to set a better example. She did not want her daughter thinking that’s how you got treated,” Caldwell explains to News 3’s Mikhaela Singleton. “She couldn’t shut her eyes anymore and say, ‘No he loves me, I did this.’ Her eyes were opened to say, ‘If he loved me, he wouldn’t do this,’ and that’s where she told me she was at.”
Caldwell says Lisa had called her to say she planned to divorce Chris. Then, October 27, 2012, Lisa vanished. Chris Wallace told inestigating Eufaula Police officers his wife had packed a bag and walked away after an argument.
Caldwell says she and Lisa’s family never believed that story.
“There has never ever been a doubt in my head that he had something to do with her being missing. You will never be able to convince me that she willingly walked away from that little girl that she thought she could never have,” Caldwell says.
Eufaula PD apparently had their suspicions as well, naming Chris a person of interest in his wife’s disappearance. News 3 reached out to Eufaula Police as well as Detective Donald Brown for updates on Lisa’s missing investigation, but have yet to recieve a response.
Aftermath of Auburn Officer Shooting
Caldwell says she was unfortunately unsurprised to learn Chris had shot and injured a police officer before killing a woman, then himself.
“I believe his true colors showed that day,” she says.
She adds she does feel pain from the situation.
“It makes me angry that no law enforcement agency took us seriously when we told them he was capable of violence, when we begged them to look into Lisa’s case and not believe his story,” Caldwell says. “I mean what happened to this poor officer just doing his job didn’t need to happen. Chris could have killed him!”
She says her main concern now is what will happen to Chris and Lisa’s daughter who will now grow up as an orphan.
“He could have thrown his hands up and said, ‘I screwed up, I need help, because I need to be there for my daughter who already doesn’t have her mom.’ Now he’s left that poor child with no parents,” Caldwell says.
She says Chris’ mother and father are now raising the little girl, and she’s grateful to them. She adds she’s worried the toll her parents lives will take on the girl.
“She’s going to have to grow up and know her dad was suspected in her mother’s disappearance and that he almost killed a police officer. Thank God that officer is going to be okay, but it’s all a horrific situation,” Caldwell says.
She says she hopes investigators now looking through Chris’ past will finally find out what happened to her best friend Lisa. She also hopes anyone who recognizes Chris and Lisa’s faces or who may know information about the case to come forward.
“Just think about if it was your sister, your mother, your cousin, your best friend. You would want all of us to do whatever we could to help out, that’s all I’m saying. Whatever you think you know, nothing is insignificant.”
The Eufaula Police Department can be reached at 334-687-1200.
If you or someone you know has become the victim of abuse or domestic violence, contact the Sexual Assault Support Center to meet with an advocate or connect with resources near you. You can call the 24 hour emergency hotline at 706-571-6010.