The Lost City is a case featured in Criminal Case as the nineteenth case of The Conspiracy (Season 5) and the two-hundred fiftieth case overall. It is the first case to take place in the Old Town district of Grimsborough.
Gabriel told Jones and the player that the ancient ruins being excavated under Old Town were that of the lost city of Xerda. Gabriel, Jones, and the player went to the excavation site, where Jones and the player found and collected the body of archaeologist Karen Boulder, who was forced to ingest tar.
Mid-investigation, Rupert said the archaeologists frequented the Pink Tea Leaf like he did. Later, Ramirez said that city hall employee Theresa Cole had hired him to follow Karen around. The team then found enough evidence to arrest Theresa for the murder.
Upon admitting to the murder, Theresa said that she was exhausted from all the people hounding her ever since Xerda was discovered, and that she wanted Xerda gone to get her life back. One sleep-deprived night, she thought that an unsolved, strange murder would scare everyone from the site and would force the dig to be shut down. On her next visit to the dig, she snuck up on Karen, tied her up, and then pumped her homemade tar into her throat until she suffocated. Judge Powell sentenced Theresa to 10 years in prison with mandatory counseling.
Post-trial, Jones and the player talked to Skylar Sage about her cult, The Higher Truth. She said that they were followers of The Enlightened One, who supposedly imparted his wisdom gained from The Higher Truth. She also let slip that he talked to his followers in the tea room, so the team went there and found the cult leader's speech. Per Cathy, the fingerprints on the speech were that of Steven Crowe, who the team last met five years ago. They talked to Steven, who said that they believed the messenger of The Higher Truth came in the form of the satellite that crashed in the forest a year prior. Steven denied being connected to DreamLife, claiming that he was beyond "material concerns" before he left in order to meditate.
Meanwhile, Gabriel and the player—with the help of Alex, historian Ray Parker, and archaeologist Bruno Camper—discovered that Xerda fell into decline due to a devastating earthquake. After all the events, the team resolved to look deeper into The Higher Truth.
- Karen Boulder (found dead at the excavation site)
- Theresa Cole
- The killer is a survivalist.
- The killer has read The Lost City of Xerda.
- The killer wears hiking boots.
- The killer wears a scarf.
- The killer is female.
- Investigate Excavation Site. (Clues: Broken Trinket, Faded Notes, Victim's Body; Victim identified: Karen Boulder)
- Examine Broken Trinket. (Result: Esoteric Mirror; New Suspect: Skylar Sage)
- Ask Skylar Sage what she was doing at the crime scene. (Prerequisite: Esoteric Mirror restored)
- Examine Faded Notes. (Result: Victim's Research Notes; New Suspect: Bruno Camper)
- Ask Bruno Camper about the victim. (Prerequisite: Victim's Research Notes unraveled; New Crime Scene Unlocked: Archaeological Tent)
- Investigate Archaeological Tent. (Prerequisite: Bruno interrogated; Clues: Victim's Bag, Ornate Box)
- Examine Victim's Bag. (Result: Sticky Note)
- Examine Sticky Note. (Result: Phone Number; New Suspect: Theresa Cole)
- Ask Ms Cole why the victim had her phone number. (Prerequisite: Phone Number unraveled)
- Examine Ornate Box. (Result: Open Box [Cryptic Threat])
- Analyze Cryptic Threat. (03:00:00; Attribute: The killer has read The Lost City of Xerda)
- Autopsy Victim's Body. (18:00:00; Murder Weapon registered: Force-Feeding; Attribute: The killer is a survivalist)
- Go to Chapter 2. (1 star)
- Investigate Pink Tea Leaf. (Available after unlocking Chapter 2; Clues: Torn Fabric, Messy Tray, Membership Card)
- Examine Torn Fabric. (Result: Apron)
- Ask Bruno Camper about his sexist message to the victim. (Prerequisite: Apron restored; Profile updated: Bruno is a survivalist and has read The Lost City of Xerda)
- Examine Messy Tray. (Result: String)
- Analyze String. (12:00:00; Attribute: The killer wears hiking boots; New Crime Scene Unlocked: Excavation Platform)
- Investigate Excavation Platform. (Clues: Video Camera, Drawing)
- Examine Video Camera. (Result: Unlocked Camera)
- Confront Skylar about trying to convert the victim. (Prerequisite: Video Camera unlocked; Profile updated: Skylar is a survivalist, has read The Lost City of Xerda and wears hiking boots)
- Examine Drawing. (Result: Comic Sketch)
- Analyze Comic Sketch. (09:00:00; New Suspect: Marcus Butler)
- Ask Marcus about his sketch of the crime scene. (Prerequisite: Comic Sketch analyzed)
- Examine Membership Card. (New Suspect: Ray Parker)
- Ask Mr Parker if he knew the victim. (Prerequisite: Ray Parker identified; Profile updated: Ray has read The Lost City of Xerda)
- Go to Chapter 3. (1 star)
- Ask Ms Cole why she hired Ramirez to follow the victim. (Available after unlocking Chapter 3; New Crime Scene Unlocked: Tea Room Table; Profile updated: Theresa is a survivalist, has read The Lost City of Xerda and wears hiking boots)
- Investigate Tea Room Table. (Prerequisite: Theresa interrogated; Clues: Map of Xerda, Locked Laptop)
- Examine Map of Xerda. (Result: Colored Powder)
- Examine Colored Powder. (Result: Pastel Crayons)
- Question Marcus about his message to the victim. (Prerequisite: Pastel Crayons identified under microscope; Profile updated: Bruno wears hiking boots)
- Examine Locked Laptop. (Result: Victim's Laptop)
- Analyze Victim's Laptop. (03:00:00)
- Ask Mr Parker about Karen's complaint against his lectures. (Prerequisite: Victim's Laptop analyzed)
- Investigate Storage Shelves. (All tasks before must be done first; Clues: Pile of Relics, Tar Pot)
- Examine Pile of Relics. (Result: Hand Pump)
- Analyze Hand Pump. (15:00:00; Attribute: The killer is a female)
- Examine Tar Pot. (Result: Stained FIbers)
- Analyze Stained Fibers. (09:00:00; Attribute; The killer wears a scarf)
- Take care of the killer now!
- Go to The Moment of Truth (1/6). (No stars)
The Moment of Truth (1/6)
- See what Mr Parker wants to say. (Available after unlocking The Moment of Truth; Reward: 20,000 Coins)
- Investigate Excavation Site. (Prerequisite: Ray interrogated; Clue: Broken Artifact)
- Examine Broken Artifact. (Result: Xerdan Shield)
- Analyze Xerdan Shield. (09:00:00)
- Ask Bruno Camper for archaeological evidence of a Xerdan earthquake. (Prerequisite: Xerdan Shield analyzed; Reward: Burger)
- Investigate Archaeological Tent. (Prerequisite: Bruno interrogated; Clue: Safe Box)
- Examine Safe Box. (Result: Strange Machine)
- Analyze Strange Machine. (03:00:00)
- Question Skylar about The Higher Truth. (Available after unlocking The Moment of Truth)
- Investigate Pink Tea Leaf. (Prerequisite: Skylar interrogated; Clue: Cult Speech)
- Examine Cult Speech. (Result: Cult Leader's Fingerprints)
- Analyze Cult Leader's Fingerprints. (06:00:00)
- Ask Steven Crowe about The Higher Truth. (Prerequisite: Cult Leader's Fingerprints analyzed; Reward: Higher Truth Necklace)
- Move on to a new crime! (1 star)
- This is the one of two cases in The Conspiracy thus far in which the murder weapon is an action, along with Downward-Facing Dead.
- In Chapter 3, the "Tide Pod Challenge" is referenced.
- In the crime scene "Excavation Platform", a tablet displays Criminal Case: Mysteries of the Past on its screen.