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      Missing girl's family plans candle vigil

      A Hannibal family still hasn't given up hope of finding their beloved daughter and mother. Thursday will mark Christina Whittaker's 22nd birthday. You'll recall she disappeared after leaving a Hannibal tavern in November.

      If you have any information on the whereabouts of Christina, call the Hannibal Police Department or private investigator involved in this case at (217) 228-9114. Your tips will be held strictly confidential.

      Whittaker's mother Cindy Young is convinced there are people out there that know where her daughter is and are too afraid to come forward.

      The family will hold a candle light vigil to remember her and keep the lights burning for her safe return this Thursday at seven at Central Park in Hannibal.

      Christina Whittaker has been missing for nearly five months, but her ten month old daughter Alexandria still plays with and kisses the cherished photos of her mother in this baby album. Her grandmother and Whittaker's Mother Cindy Young says it's enough to break your heart.

      Young said, "I cry all the time, I can't eat can't sleep and keep going through everything over and over in your mind. It's hard. It's as hard as it was the first day she went missing. It doesn't get easier."

      Young says she knows the Hannibal Police Department is doing everything it can to find her daughter, but together her family also has hired a private investigator to follow other leads. And what they've found has given her hope that her daughter is still alive.

      Young said, "I've been almost five months without hearing my daughter's voice, without seeing her and I just need to hear her voice and know she's okay."

      Young says the family planned the candle light vigil on Christina's birthday, to bring the entire community of people who loved this young mother together, to make her absence a burden everyone can bear together.

      Young said, "It's a nightmare every day and you never wake up. You have to go to bed every night not knowing where your child is is she okay is she being hurt is she hurt or cold."

      Young says what keeps her going every day is caring for Christina's grandmother and baby daughter. She says she can't give up hope, not when little Alexandria is still without her mother.

      The family is also raffling off a rifle to raise money to pay for the private investigator. You can buy tickets this Saturday at Farm and Home Supply in Hannibal. The drawing will be held March 31st at 1p.m. in Hannibal's Riverfront Park.