Balloons floated into the sky with personal messages for Elaine Nix as the sun set Tuesday night at Memorial Park Cemetery, 10 years after the East Hall teen was found dead.
Close to 50 friends and family members gathered at her grave to mark the solemn anniversary of her unsolved murder, lighting candles and expressing hope that someday, they could have justice.
"It’s frustrating," said Nix’s father, David Nix. "It’s been 10 years of heartaches. I miss her every day."
The 1996 song "Missing You" by R&B performer Brandy was played on a small CD player at Nix’s grave as her friends and family held candles and watched the balloons disappear into the distance. The song was made popular three years before Nix, 18, vanished after talking on a pay phone outside the Zack’s Food Rack convenience store on Candler Highway.
Her body was found nine days later, on Sept. 29, 1999, in a wooded area near an industrial park on Verona Avenue in Gwinnett County, just south of the Hall County line. Her death was ruled a homicide, though the cause was not determined.
"I wish someone who knows about this case would just have a heart and say something, and help us get this case closed,"
David Nix said. "It’s not easy living day to day, having to deal with this."
Elaine Nix’s friend, Jennifer Boyd, said she hopes that one day "we can come out here and say we found justice for Elaine."
Many of those who turned out Tuesday night wore T-shirts bearing Elaine Nix’s picture and a Web site address on the back: www.elainenix.com. Some brought along children who were not alive when Elaine was last seen.
"I really appreciate them," David Nix said of his daughter’s friends. "It touches my heart for them to come out every year, and still remember, and still care. People can drift away, but they’ve stayed with us, and that means a lot."
Said Elaine’s mother, Becky Nix, "We want closure; we want this person caught, because he’s still walking around. I know they may think they can get by with it here on Earth, but they won’t later."
Anyone with information about the unsolved murder of Elaine Nix is asked to call the Gwinnett County Police Department homicide unit at 770-513-5300. A $5,000 reward is available.