“We have to still have hope.”
Those are the words of Alisha Cooper, two years after her sister — a Winfield mother-of-two — went missing without a trace somewhere around the TN-KY line.
Christina Bussell was last seen walking somewhere near the TN-KY border north of Winfield on Sept. 28, 2011. Believed to be the victim of foul play, Bussell’s whereabouts was the subject of a flurry of activity by law enforcement officials in Tennessee and Kentucky for months, to no avail.
These days, the search has slowed. The case is still considered open both in Scott County, on the Tennessee side of the border, and in McCreary County, on the Kentucky side. Law enforcement authorities on either side continue to exhaust leads as they are presented. But, they say, their searches have turned up no evidence of Bussell’s whereabouts.
Meanwhile, Bussell’s family is not giving up hope.
“We all believe that she is a victim of foul play, but we hope and pray that we are wrong and that she is out there somewhere alive,” Cooper said.
Authorities have managed to pinpoint what they believe to be the last credible sighting of Bussell along a road in McCreary County, just north of the state line. But there the trail goes cold. Searches have included an abandoned strip pit pond on the Tennessee side and a creek on the Kentucky side.
Locally, authorities have interviewed potential suspects and even conducted polygraph tests, but have not turned up any new information.
Cooper and the rest of Bussell’s family have worked hard to ensure that the case stays in the public eye. They insist that she would not have just abandoned her children — now ages eight and five. From posting fliers to making contacts with anyone who can tell Christina Bussell’s story, they are convinced that someone can point authorities in the right direction to locate their sister and bring closure to the situation.
“We will never give up until she is found and brought home,” Cooper said. “We want everyone to know how much we appreciate their support and prayers.”
A candlelight vigil will be held Saturday, the two-year anniversary of Bussell’s disappearance, at the Winfield Park, beginning at 7 p.m.
“We will say a prayer and light candles for hope that someone will help us bring Christina home,” Cooper said.