GORMAN, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Nearly nine months after skeletal remains were found on the side of the highway in Ranger, DNA testing has revealed the identity of the victim: 35-year old Krista Kay Brown of Gorman.

It was Mother’s Day 2022 that Kathrine Brown last got to hug her daughter Krista as she walked out her front door.

“We didn’t hear from her after May, and that’s not like Krista,” Kathrine said.

Krista Brown was a popular kid growing up – a cheerleader who was heavily involved in football, basketball and softball. However, her mother said she was also a dasher – taking off in the blink of an eye, but never without warning.

“Krista always called. She always found a phone and called no matter the situation she was in,” Krista’s grandmother Glenna Turner said. “She found a phone and called either me or her mother.” 

It was just 8 days after Mother’s Day the late night call came in somewhat of an ominous fashion.

Kathrine Brown, who had a brain aneurysm several years prior, was fast asleep due to thee medication she was taking. She missed the call.

Krista left her mother a voicemail that said, “Hey mom, it’s Krista. If you could just call me back on this number or if not…” Followed by muffled speaking in the background, both from Krista and another man. She ended the voicemail by saying, “just call me back please. And it’s Frank’s number, mom. I love you.”

Little did she know it would have been the last time she would ever hear from her daughter.

Many phone calls to that number, but none were answered. Krista was gone just like that, and the months continued to pass by. May turned to June and June to July, but still no one had seen or heard from Krista Brown.

Then Kathrine Brown’s nightmare turned into a reality in July 2022. It was a clear blue summer sky that turned dark in seconds, and rain began to pour down alongside the highway in Ranger, uncovering the skeletal remains of an unknown person.

“I mean, my husband said from day one he would tell me, ‘baby, but that is our baby laying there,'” Kathrine said. “I started to build hope that it was not her.”  

Many families in the area reporting missing family members, searching for closure, but for the Brown family, they had an awful inclination they knew whose bones those were.

“We waited, waited, waited and waited some more until they finally came and told us,” Kathrine said.

Now, nine months later, the DNA tests have confirmed their suspicions. The found skeletal remains were positively identified as 35-year old Krista Kay Brown of Gorman.

“I just want to hold her one more time,” Kathrine said of getting the news, fighting back the tears. “I thought I would feel better, but I don’t. I think I feel worse. I just don’t know what to do without her anymore.” 

Krista Brown was described to KTAB/KRBC as a fun-loving mother of four daughters, who was outgoing and as personable as anyone. Her mother said she could be devious, but at the end of the day, her heart outshined everything else.

“She lived through hell, and that’s what hurts the worst because we don’t know what her final hours were like, and we’ll never know,” Kathrine said. Glenna Turner replied, “It’s because these people don’t want to come forth. They know exactly what’s going on and they know what they did.” 

While the families continue to mourn the loss of a beloved child, grandchild, mother, and sister, they find some solace knowing she is in Heaven. However, Glenna Turner said they won’t have complete closure until someone is put behind bars.

KTAB/KRBC reached out to the investigating party, the Eastland County Sheriff’s Office, for an update on the investigation, to which they replied the investigation is still open and ongoing.