Missing Woman's Family Tracks Her to Peoria

By Joe Bennett

December 14, 2011 Updated Dec 15, 2011 at 10:31 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- Christina Whittaker was out with friends one night in Hannibal, Missouri looking for a ride home when family members say she disappeared, reportedly to Peoria.

Her mom says Christina loved her family, and told them so every day.

She never showed any indication that she wanted to run from home.

"She would call me or text me every night before she went to bed and say, 'I love you Mommy," says Cindy Young. "Now, not a word in over two years."

Those close to Christina say she was hanging out with the wrong crowd when she wasn't taking care of her 6-month-old daughter Alexendria, now 2 years old.

Young says the family is both emotionally and financially exhausted because they have even tried living in Peoria temporarily to try to find Christina.

"When I had to lay my head down every night in the same town, knowing that she was here and I couldn't see her or I couldn't talk to her or anything, it was hard," says Young.

The New Jerusalem Church has helped with the burden of passing out flyers and even giving gas vouchers for the Young's trips from Peoria to Missouri.

The church is in the same area where people have reportedly seen Christina, now much thinner, looking both unhealthy and confused.

"She had nothing to run from," Young says. "She's not in any trouble. There's no reason for her to have left."

Young has also heard other rumors that Christina was either killed or in an accident, but she refuses to believe it.

Instead, she is holding on to hope with a message for her daughter.

"Christina if you see this on, you can come home," her mother pleas. "The baby loves you, and she misses you and says she wants her Mommy for Christmas. And we just need her home. We need her back."

Christina Whittaker has been missing since November 19, 2009 when she was planning to host Thanksgiving.

Her family says she never missed a holiday or birthday and they haven't been able to celebrate one since her disappearance.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is encouraged to call New Jerusalem Church at 672-1725.

There is a $1,000 reward for information leading to her return home.

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