N. Texas mother finds peace decades after daughter's murder

DALLAS - It was a moment frozen in time for a North Texas mother.Decades ago, nine-year-old Christie Proctor was abducted and killed by a stranger. Now, her mother is using that awful experience to help make life better for thousands of others.

Over 24 years ago, Christie was on her way home from a friend's house when she disappeared.She was last seen near her North Dallas apartment complex.

That was when the nightmare began for Laura Proctor.

It was pure sheer absolute terror, she said. I felt it and I knew immediately that this is where she had been taken. I felt like it was her terror that I perceived.
But, she still hung on to hope that Christie was alive.The single mom followed leads across the country.She helped put up more than one million posters across North Texas, and she started an organization to help families of missing and exploited children.
In my mind, I wouldn't accept that she was dead, Proctor said. I just couldn't.
But, in April of 1988, police found Christie's remains in a Plano field six miles north of their apartment.
We had resolution, but at the same time it was crushing that there was never hope now that I would have her back, Proctor said.
Proctor's deep personal loss left her with a daily struggle to cope.Each year, she hit her lowest lows in February, the same month Christie disappeared.
I withdrew from friends, she said. I withdrew from my family.I would just completely shut down.I would be that way for days and weeks, said Proctor.
Eleven years after Christie's death, Proctor finally found peace when she had a revelation at a church conference.
It was just like chains broke off me, she said. It was just literally like the sky exploded.Walls were crashing and dams burst.All of these things happened.From that moment on, I have never suffered from depression.
For Proctor, it was new found faith.Once again, she could find happiness.She married a minister and became one herself.Justice finally came in 2005 when David Elliot Penton pleaded guilty to killing Christi and two other North Texas girls who were abducted and murdered in the '80s.Penton is serving life in prison in Ohio.
I have been able to move on with my life, Proctor said. I've been able to come to terms with the fact that bad things happen.This was out of my control and there was nothing I could do about it.
Christie's mom has now dedicated her life to spreading a message of hope to others.

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