NEWS 8 Exclusive: Family of missing Ansonia girl and murdered mom speak out almost a year later

New Haven

ANSONIA, Conn. (WTNH) — Their world changed on December 2, 2019. That’s the day Ansonia mom Christine Holloway didn’t show up for work. Her employer requested a welfare check. Ansonia Police officers ended up finding her beaten to death at her home. But, her one-year-old daughter, Vanessa Morales, was nowhere to be found. The police came to the conclusion that Vanessa was kidnapped.

She’s been missing ever since.

“We are shattered,” said Danielle Holloway, Christine’s sister-in-law and Vanessa’s aunt. “We’re looking every single day for her (Vanessa). And we’re not going to give up until she’s home, until she’s back home with us.”

Ansonia Police say Vanessa’s father and Christine’s boyfriend — Jose Morales — is a prime suspect in her murder. He’s been behind bars on weapons violations. Police say they found weapons in his home in New Haven and that’s against the law because he’s a convicted felon. Police say Jose Morales has not offered up any information about Christine Holloway’s murder or Vanessa’s disappearance.

“It was a shock to all of us, to be honest,” said Danielle. “I mean, sure, I heard from family members who had witnessed Jose being physical with Chrissy. But, other than that, he never indicated to any of us that there was an issue.”

The legal process against Jose Morales has slowed because of the pandemic. Meanwhile, Danielle hopes that by coming forward to News 8 and putting this story back in the public’s attention, it will spur new leads in the case of Vanessa’s disappearance. Vanessa is now 2 years old and may look a little different than she does in the pictures that have been released to the public.

“I want to push myself for Vanessa to know that I did not give up and made sure that she was out there in front of everyone else,” she said.

There’s a $10,000 reward leading to Vanessa’s safe return. Ansonia Police have said whoever turns her in will not face charges. Danielle says the main thing is for Vanessa to be back where she belongs — safe with her loved ones.

“We need her back,” Danielle said. “She’s the light of our lives….I miss her every single day.”

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