The remains of a Texas woman missing since 2014 have been found, giving the woman’s bereaved loved ones closure on a mystery they have agonized over for nearly four years.
Christina Morris was 23 years old when she vanished on Aug. 30, 2014.
Surveillance video recorded at the time showed Morris and her longtime friend, Enrique Gutierrez Arochi, walk into a parking garage at a shopping and restaurant complex in Plano.
Her car was still in the parking garage when police began investigating her disappearance.
Arochi was arrested in Morris’ disappearance three months later.
He was convicted of aggravated kidnapping, based in part on investigators finding Morris’ DNA inside the trunk of his car.
“My daughter would never climb into the trunk of a car,” Morris’ father, Mark Morris, said during Arochi’s sentencing hearing.
Arochi, who turns 27 this month, was sentenced to life in prison and will be eligible for parole in 2044.
His sentencing came two years after Morris disappeared.
"You took our holidays, birthdays, our traditions," Morris’ stepmother, Anna Morris, said at his sentencing. "She was not yours to take. Please, I beg you; let me bring my daughter home."
Arochi has never revealed where he left Morris.
But on Wednesday, a construction crew discovered skeletal human remains in a brush area along a creek in nearby Anna, Texas.
Plano police announced on Thursday that the remains were those of Morris.
“Come home Nina. Find Christina. Giving up is not an option. Can’t stop – won’t stop. Those are the words we’ve proclaimed time and time again over the past 3 1/2 years,” her family said in a statement. “We made a promise to Christina—that we would find her, and we would bring her home. We refused to let her down in her most desperate time of need. She would expect nothing less, and we were determined to keep that promise. 1,285 days after her disappearance, Christina was found.
"Our hearts are irreversibly broken,” the family continued. “We never wanted 'closure,' even if there is such a thing. We only wanted Christina. Our grief is overwhelming, and we ask for privacy while our family processes the realization of our worst fears and most terrifying nightmares."