An eastern Iowa family knows how greatly community support is needed to cope with the loss of a child. Linda and Richard Christie of Waterloo are the grandparents of five-year-old Evelyn Miller. Miller was kidnapped and murdered in Floyd county seven years ago.
The missing cousins case has really resonated with Miller's family. Following the seven year anniversary of Evelyn's disappearance, her grandmother Linda told KWWL it was heart-wrenching to see two other families have their little girls abducted. Now, to learn the fate of Lyric and Elizabeth, she can only pray and share her story, in hopes it helps the Collins and Cook-Morrissey families heal.
Linda Christie remembers exactly how she felt seven years ago when she learned her five-year-old granddaughter was dead.
"I just screamed. I said, 'God, no, please!'" Christie said.
Christie knows those same gut-wrenching emotions are now being experienced by the families of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins.
"You know, you have that hope, and now that hope is gone. And I know that's how they, the Morrissey's and the Collins' feel. Hope is gone. There's closure, but that hope is gone," said Christie.
After learning the fate of the missing cousins, Christie wanted to visit Evansdale. She hung the first ornaments on a second Christmas tree displayed at a local home in honor of the two girls. Christie says their families have to hold tight to the two values that have guided them through the past several months -- first, their faith.
"May the grace of God be with you as you go through this time," she said.
While also continuing to hope, but now that hope is believing someone will be held responsible for the cousins' deaths. Christie has that confidence because after seven years without answers in her granddaughter's death -- a suspect was charged for her abduction and murder this fall.
"It may take them a while, but you know they take their time and are very diligent with murder investigations, especially of children," Christie said.
The suspect in Evelyn Miller's case, Casey Frederiksen, was recently arraigned and is awaiting trial. Linda Christie believes justice will be done for her granddaughter, and holds out the same hope in the missing cousins case
The Christie family continues to work toward establishing the Evelyn Miller memorial fund, to help other families affected by child homicide.
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