Police collect what could be compelling evidence in Beach man’s death

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Virginia Beach, Va. - Diane Pardee told NewsChannel 3 she doesn't believe the stories about how her son died. Three people in the car with him say it's simple: Chris was drunk and climbed out of a car window. He fell to the pavement and died days later.

Chris Pardee was wearing a bright white new T-shirt and new gray pants the night he died.

But his mother got them back mottled in blood and slashed by the scissors of rescue workers trying to save Chris' life.

“I had no real concept of what was happening until I saw him in the emergency room, and that was when the gravity struck me of how grave it really was,” she says.

Related: Beach police admit possible mistake as grieving mother seeks answers in son’s death

Three of Chris' friends told police that while they were driving in his neighborhood, Chris climbed out of the car window. He fell to the pavement and got hurt.

Chris died days later on his 21st birthday. The answers she has from his friends and police, she just doesn't believe.

“I want to know. I really just want to know what happened,” Diane says.

Our investigation revealed what might have been a police mistake. We located videos posted online that show the 19-year-old driver was drinking that night. And court records show her blood-alcohol concentration was over the limit for teenage drivers. But officers let her go. During our investigation, the Beach Police Chief conceded that part concerned him.

“Why didn't officers charge her right at the scene? That's what we're going to find out,” he says.

On the day our story aired, police re-filed the charges. And since then, Diane Pardee's friends urged her to take a harder look at Chris' clothes, clothes police never took.

To Diane, the shirt collar looks stretched and strained. On the back appears to be a shoe print. And on the rear of Chris' pants, is what Diane thinks is a bloody handprint. Diane also says our story stirred talk among Chris' friends, including one who heard Chris was hit in the head with a baseball bat. Diane found her daughter's softball bat in the garage, and to her, the mess on the metal looks like dried blood and hair. Diane told NewsChannel 3 Chris had road rash, broken ribs and a punctured lung, in other words, injuries that didn't seem to match the story that he tumbled out of a car on a residential road.

This week police returned to Diane's home and took all of this back to headquarters. They also took pictures inside to prosecute one of the passengers.

Erin Robertson was in the car with Chris that night. And according to police, while Chris was dying, Erin helped himself to Chris' expensive Canon camera. Diane says -- and court records confirm -- Erin was caught on video trying to pawn the camera, and get this, several accessories that didn't leave her house that night.

“Somehow the parts that were in your home while Chris was at the hospital made their way to a pawn shop?” asked Mike Mather.

“They did. They did,” she replied.

Diane says there is no other way to look at this. A guy Chris counted as a friend took advantage of the tragedy and stole from Chris, as he was dying.

“You're dealing with this, and you are down, does it feel like someone came along and kicked you?” asked Mather.

"I felt like somebody disemboweled me, to be honest with you,” says Diane.

The way Diane sees it is simple: The driver was drinking and a passenger stole from Chris. So she doesn't have faith they're telling her the truth. Police have charged Erin Robertson with grand larceny. He has a record of convictions for theft, drugs, and assault. Neither he nor anyone else in the car that night agreed to speak with NewsChannel 3 for our investigation.

Now it will be up to police to analyze the clothes and the bat, to see if Diane’s right, that something else happened to her son.


  • Melinda Jones

    I really hope that justice is served!!!!! I pray she gets the answers to this tragic senseless death. Makes me sick to my stomach that his mother has no closure, I can not even imagine the pain she and his true friends and family are going through.

  • befair

    The police have talked to the 3 people that were in the car that night and all said the same thing….Chris climbed out the window and fell. His injuries are equivalent to what one would get falling from a moving car. We can understand the mother is grieving and doesn’t want to accept this but anything she has heard from Chris’s other friends is just down right gossip and exactly how rumors get started…they were not there. The young girl driving thought she was doing a good deed getting him home because he was drunk…a .02 is less than half a beer, not condoning drinking and driving but she was not drunk. This whole thing is very sad…everyone liked Chris but also knew that he was very impulsive and was known to climb out windows to car surf as evidenced in past behavior. Diane needs to accept what has happened and get on with her life.

      • befair

        Donna, everyone is being very judgemental about things they know nothing about. You being at the top. God is our only judge.

        • Ben

          Befair – Do you have any kids, or loved ones? Lets see you “accept what happened and move on” a few months after they die.

    • Melinda Jones

      befair Really Really???? Put your child in Chris’s place then is befair still the name you would go buy if you were Mrs. Pardee?? First off if I was driving a bunch of friends home and one was so drunk to hang out of my car window I would have sense to STOP my car and tell him either get in or start walking!!!! Everyone can say oh get over it move on it is NOT your child!!!! And then have stuff stolen from you while your child is in the hospital dieing really?? Come on now get over it!!!

  • CrittrKpr

    Loosing a child is never an easy thing for any parent, but if there are unanswered questions- it makes it much harder. Trust me on this. I am hoping and praying that the truth comes out, for everyone involved. Has every avenue been taken to see if there are any witness’ that arent involved? Someone who doesn’t have a personal stake in this story? I am Thankful for WTKR helping this Mom and the rest of his family and friends. @befair- people will always be judgemental and opinionated on what they see, read and hear. It is true that God is the final judge. Until we meet him, our peers will always judge us. Especially if you end up in a jury trial.

  • Nancy Naylor

    Friends don’t let friends drink and drive. Friends don’t let friends do something so dangerous as climb out a window of a moving car. Friends would have grabbed him by the legs and stopped the car. Friends also don’t steal from friends. Don’t blame this on impulsiveness, blame this on reckless, irresponsible behavior, underage drinking and not being surrounded by friends. This tragedy could have been prevented with a little help from his “friends”.

  • Kathy Newton

    My heart goes out to you and the family. I know how it is to loose someone that quick. My husband died four years ago within a four day grace. I’m sick with MS so life can be so tragically to us. BUT we must stay strong and still believe in our almighty God.The truth will always come up in due time if someone is lying. That’s when Karma can happen to this individual who will have to live with this the rest of their life knowing they did this. I will pray for you and the family and hoping the closure will be done soon.With deepest sympathy & Hugs +

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