CLEVELAND – A friend of Christina Adkins said confirmation that remains found last week are indeed hers will bring closure to her loved ones, after years of emotional trauma.
"She was a bright person, very cheerful," said Paul Calderon.
Calderon said he went to high school with Christina, and they were friends.
He has mixed feelings that the remains found last week in a pipe off the I-90 east to I-71 north interchange are confirmed to be Christina's.
"[It is] a surprise, but yet, also it finally puts closure to the case. The Adkins family has been going through a lot already, and for them not to know for 18-plus years, it's hard," Calderon said.
Elias Acevedo, Sr., 49, a convicted sex offender, faces 293-counts after a grand jury indicted him Thursday for Christina's murder, the murder of 30-year-old Pamela Pemberton in a separate 1994 case, and the kidnapping and rapes of three other girls.
Christina disappeared January 10, 1995 near West 25th Street and Kinkle. She was 18-years-old and five months pregnant.
"She's not the type of person that would just get in the car with anybody. She's not the type of person that would go anywhere with anybody unless she knew him," Calderon said.
Calderon believes Christina may have known Acevedo, who would have been 30-years-old at the time.
Calderon said Acevedo is related to the person Christina was dating at the time.
"Because of the fact she was living there for a while, she got to know his entire family," Calderon said.
Christina's step-mother and sister released a statement that reads:
"While we are saddened to have lost Christina, we are thankful to have finally found her.
Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to find her, especially the Task Force, FBI, Cleveland Police, and the many family members, friends and neighbors who walked these streets searching for information and hanging up her posters.
Christina was a sweet, kind and loving angel who was never forgotten in the 18 years she was missing. Now we hope and pray for justice to be served.
We ask that everyone please respect our privacy as we mourn the loss of our beloved Christina."
Christina Adkins' mother also released a statement:
"I did not want to believe it was her, but I knew it was. I know that at least now I have closure and she can get the burial she deserves.
She is my guardian angel looking out for me now.
I want to express my thanks to the FBI and everyone else involved.
I want to see [Acevedo] brought to justice."
Acevedo is in jail, and due in court on Monday.