ANNA, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Dozens of neighbors living near the crime scene where Christina Morris’ remains were found gathered Thursday night for a candlelight vigil.
“It just warms your heart to see everyone is here,” said Beverly Lillie, a close friend of Morris’ mother.
Organizers said they wanted to show love and compassion to the family whose story they followed for three and half years, never realizing how close it hit to home.
“We held to that promise that we’d never give up,” said Allison Penn, who volunteered in many weekend searches for clues in the case.
The discovery of Morris’ body Wednesday morning proved bittersweet news.
“We’re kind of numb. We knew this day. We wanted this day to come, but we also just didn’t want this day to come. We didn’t want the finalization,” said Penn.
Plano police have now launched a murder investigation.
The man last seen with Morris, Enrique Arochi, is already convicted of kidnapping her.
Cell phone records presented in trial show the day after she was spotted alive Arochi left his home in Allen and drove 21 miles to Anna near the scene where yesterday a construction crew uncovered her body.
“We shouldn’t find happiness or satisfaction in the fact that a person’s been identified, but at the same time it may bring a sense of closure to what the family described as a three and a half year nightmare,” said Lekita McMillan, the neighbor who spearheaded plans for the vigil.
After 2,185 days, friends say they are finding peace in knowing the search for Christina is finally over.
“It’s just by the grace of god we have her where she needs to be now,” said Lillie.