According to the Dallas Morning News, a crew clearing trees for a housing development in Anna came across human remains just before 10 a.m. Wednesday March 7. They were found on the east side of a creek on a hillside about 50 yards out from Taylor Boulevard.
Today, after 24 tense hours, the Plano Police have finally confirmed what many already suspected: Christina Morris, the 23-year-old who vanished from The Shops at Legacy in Plano on August 30, 2014 just before 4 in the morning, has been finally been found.
In a press conference, Chief Gregory Rushkin said, “Collin County Medical Examiner’s office has positively identified the remains of Ms. Christina Morris.” He thanked the workers who found her remains and everyone who has spent countless hours searching for her.
Her mother, Jonni Hare, thanked the police as well, with Christina’s father, Mark Morris, standing beside her. “This is the most difficult day I have ever faced in my entire life,” she said through tears. “I know our daughter is in a better place. I know she’s in heaven. I know she’s proud of us for not giving up.” Then she asked for the community to respect their privacy and give them time to grieve in this difficult time.
On August 30, 2014, Christina walked into the Shops at Legacy parking garage behind Henry’s Tavern with an acquaintance, Enrique Arochi. From the beginning, Arochi was a compelling suspect. According to the affidavit for a search warrant for his home, Arochi initially lied to the police, saying he and Christina didn’t enter the parking garage together. But the two are seen on a security camera walking into the garage at 3:55 a.m. At 3:58 a.m. Arochi’s car leaves the garage. Her car never moves and she was never seen again. At another point, he claimed to have gone to his home in Allen by Central Expressway, only for toll records to show him passing through a toll booth at Custer Road on Sam Rayburn Tollway at 4:08 a.m.
Christina’s DNA was also found in the trunk of Arochi’s 2010 Chevrolet Camaro, which was shown to the jury during Arochi’s trial in one of its most poignant moments. Her body, however, remained missing and Arochi was convicted in 2016 for aggravated kidnapping and sentenced to life in prison. Arochi has always stated that he is innocent. In a 2016 prison interview with the Dallas Morning News, he said he hoped Christina was still alive. Arochi’s appeals are ongoing.
However, the location where Christina has been found fits much of the evidence from the trial, notably data pings from cell towers which suggested Arochi and Christina’s phones had been in the region around Anna. Now that she has been found, we will almost certainly see a conviction for her murder.
For three and a half years, Christina has been missing and every Saturday, family, friends and strangers have met to search for her somewhere in North Texas. This close-knit group had searched the Anna area before and had been out looking just last Saturday. Another search was scheduled for Saturday, March 10.
This isn’t the first time that Christina’s family has hoped she was found. On one Saturday which I spent searching for Christina, her father, Mark Morris, recalled the volunteers coming across a human pelvis sometime in the summer of 2016.
Today, the Collin County medical examiner’s office processed the body, comparing it to Morris’ DNA profile and dental records, both already on file. A candlelit vigil for Christina is planned in Anna tonight at 7:30 p.m. It was initiated by Lekita Scott McMillan, who on Facebook wrote that it was a time to come together with compassion and prayer.
It has been a terribly long road and today has been an emotional day for everyone who cares about Christina. But at long last, Christina is finally found.