Christina Adkins' family deals with birthday without her; Cuyahoga County initiative gives hope

CLEVELAND - Thursday was a bittersweet day for the Adkins' family because it's Christina Adkins' 37th birthday.

The family said they find it hard to get through a day without thinking of her.

"We would love to have her home with us and be able to celebrate with her," said Christina's sister, Tonia Adkins.

She said they can't stop wondering where Christina is and if she's even alive.
 
"It's been very hard on all of us. the not knowing is the worst part," she said.

Christina's family has been through a lot since she disappeared 18 years ago four blocks from Seymour Avenue, where Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus were found.

Tonia said the worst part has been their father's death, which they believe was caused by Christina's disappearance.

"Because he didn't know where his daughter was," she said.

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald announced on Thursday a missing persons initiative following last week's discovery of the three missing girls who were held captive 10 years. He said his mission is to make sure missing persons cases don't fall through the cracks.

"But also to make sure that those that are not recovered. Those individuals who are not recovered or found within 24 hours remain a continued priority," FitzGerald said.

Tonia said she hopes the initiative will refocus attention on her sister's case because she believes incidents surrounding her disappearance don't add up.

"A couple of weeks before Christie disappeared there was an attempted rape and as far as I know, the person was charged and convicted even though Christie wasn't there to speak up for herself. That was given to me by police. There's a lot of different things I want them to look into," Tonia said.

According to FitzGerald, there are more than a thousand unresolved missing person cases in Ohio. About 700 of those cases involve children.

He said there are currently 110 unresolved missing persons cases here in Cleveland alone; that's not including the 59 suburban communities.

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