CLEVELAND - Church bells filled Scranton Road on Cleveland's west side as family and friends let out of the Scranton Road Bible Church near Clark Avenue. They were there attending a memorial service for Christina Adkins, the young woman who went missing back in 1995 and whose remains were finally discovered a few weeks ago.
"I think it brought great closure today for the neighborhood," said Pastor Joe Abraham with the Scranton Road Bible Church. "Seymour is three blocks down from here and we went through a tremendous time, of both celebration and sorrow, during that time … I ran into Tonia ( Adkins' sister) three or four times a year handing out bulletins, praying for closure of some kind. This wasn't the one we were hoping for, but for the family that was along-side Christina for the good part of her life, this brought some peace to them so they can move forward."
The Sunday service also meant just as much to Adkins' family as it did to Abraham, who knew Christina.
"I came here in 1988 when I think she was about 12 and they were part of the ‘Good News Club', the ‘Kids Club', the ‘Youth Ministry' of the church. So I knew Christina through that period of time, middle school through high school, up until the point she was abducted," said Abraham.
He described Adkins as quiet, but still a caring and compassionate young leader at the church. "She had a real care for down and out people that very often, others walk by," said Abraham.
Adkins was 18-years-old and about five months pregnant when she disappeared from Cleveland's west side about 18 years ago.
Christina Adkins, once considered a missing person for almost two decades, was also remembered at a Saturday vigil and walk, bringing attention to the other women still missing in the Cleveland area. Her family and friends who attended that march and vigil said they're hoping this would serve as a reminder there are still missing people out there that need help.
"Life is fragile for all of us, regardless of where we live," said Abraham, "Don't wait until tomorrow because it may not come and put your hope in Jesus just like Christina did, and she did many years ago so despite how difficult this thing was, I know there's great hope for her and hope for us as well."
Elias Acevedo, 49, is charged in the death of both Christina Adkins and Pamela Pemberton. He is due again in court on October 30th.