Cristie Bolt was the daughter of Jim and Jean Peters, born in San Jose, California, on Nov. 1, 1960, the youngest of five siblings. In 1974, the family moved from California to Hamilton, Montana, where Cristie and her sister, Gina, graduated from high school. Their homestead had a gorgeous view of Blodgett Canyon in the Bitterroot Valley, and they had a huge garden that the family cared for.
After high school, Cristie joined the U.S. Army and was stationed overseas in Germany. She loved it there, and was proud of her military service and expert marksmanship. When she returned stateside in 1983, she moved to Austin, Texas (where her brother James was at the time), and began working for the IRS as a seasonal tax employee. She met Casey Bolt through James, and they became best friends. Casey had a son from a prior marriage, Jason, that Cristie loved as her own.