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      Family has hope for missing Hannibal woman

      A photo of Christina

      A Hannibal woman went missing four years ago Wednesday.

      Her family hasn't given up hope of finding her.

      Friends, family and supporters gathered in Hannibal's Central Park Wednesday afternoon for a prayer vigil for Christina Whittaker.

      The then 21-year-old woman was last seen at a bar and hasn't been seen or heard from since.

      Her family still is searching for answers.

      November 13 is not just another day of the year for Whittaker's mother, Cindy Young.

      "This is really one of the hardest days of the year for me," Young said. "This, and the holidays. None of them are easy."

      Whittaker was last seen along Broadway in Hannibal four years ago this week.

      Her mother never thought she'd go this long without answers.

      "If someone would've told me at that time that she'd be gone 4 years, I don't know if I could've made it this long, cause you have hope everyday that she's going to be home soon," Young said. "It seems like it's been 10 years."

      Young still thinks her daughter was the victim of human trafficking and is in the Peoria area.

      "I know she's had a lot done to her, and I know she's got a lot of fear in her," Young said.

      Young's brother, Michael Elzea, travels to Peoria once a month to look for Whittaker.

      "Every time I go there, I get little bits of information that someone might've seen her," Elzea said. "It just gives you a little bit of hope. I think someone knows something, and I think someone here in town knows something. I don't know why someone won't come out and say something. She's got a little girl."

      That little girl, Alexandria, was just 6-months-old when her mother went missing.

      "She's 4 1/2 now, and she says she's asking Santa Claus for her mommy for Christmas this year, and she said, 'I mean it this year' that he'd better bring her mommy home," Young said. "We still don't celebrate a holiday yet. I haven't cooked a holiday dinner since she's been missing. In my heart, I just can't get myself to do it."

      "I made a promise to my sister that I'd never give up on her," Elzea said. "We believe in miracles."

      KHQA contacted the Hannibal Police Department for any updates on this missing persons case.

      Those calls were not returned.

      If you have any information about Whittaker's whereabouts, you're asked to contact H.P.D. at 573-221-0987.