Elaine Nix was 18 when she was found dead just over the county line in Gwinnett County on Sept. 29, 1999, a little more than a week after being last seen at a convenience store pay phone on Candler Road.
Her slaying remains unsolved, but her life was remembered by friends and family Saturday, Sept. 29, at Memorial Park in Gainesville.
About 20 people took part, including some who never had a chance to meet Elaine. Attendees gathered for the candlelight vigil and wrote messages to her on balloons along with an info tag searching for information attached to the string. At the end of the vigil, they released the balloons.
“I’m a numbers person and this year marks the year that surpasses her life – it’s a milestone I guess you could say," said MarRana Nix, Elaine's sister-in-law.
Shortly after 1 a.m. Sept. 20, 1999, the East Hall teen finished an hourlong conversation with her boyfriend, hung up the phone and disappeared. Her 1986 Toyota Celica was left parked outside a convenience store on Candler Highway.
Nix’ clothes — khaki pants, a white shirt and white tennis shoes — never were recovered. She still was wearing her jewelry. Police identified her body through dental records and tattoos; she had been dead between six and nine days, they told the family.
How Elaine Nix died is as much a mystery as who may have killed her. Friend Jennifer Boyd has said the death certificate gives the cause of death as “undetermined” as there were no obvious signs of trauma. The manner of death is classified as homicide.