DECATUR, Texas — Randy and Jody McNorton were brought to their knees.
Their daughter, 28-year-old Samantha McNorton had been missing since November 2. On Sunday, she was found dead in north Decatur. Her family now has a sense of closure.
“Right now, we need lots of prayers,” Jody said. “Thank God. It was all I was asking for.”
“I don't know where to go from here; I don't know what to do. She was everything,” said Paul Agnew, the father of McNorton's three young children ages 2, 4 and 6.
Agnew wore pink, her favorite color.
Friends gathered in Decatur Sunday evening to pray for McNorton and her boyfriend, 29-year-old David Malone of Bowie.
"David Malone, we forgive you," said one person in the prayer circle.
Malone has not been charged in this case, though suspicion is swirling around him.
Malone was arrested Thursday night on a sexual assault charge, and held in Parker County Jail. Investigators, however, are not saying who his victim was.
Malone's family was present at the Sunday evening vigil.
“It brings two families and a whole bunch of friends together where it's a real tragedy,” Randy McNorton said.
Hugs were holding the McNorton family up. Their only daughter gone, Randy McNorton had one parting wish for the group.
“I want you guys just to hug each other and pray.”
Samantha McNorton had last been seen on November 2 at the One Stop convenience store in Runaway Bay. But a missing persons report on McNorton wasn't filed until last Tuesday, November 13.
Jody McNorton said it was not uncommon for her daughter to be out of sight for a week at a time. That’s why the family delayed filing a missing persons report with Richland Hills police.
The search for Samantha McNorton began Thursday afternoon with deputies from Wise, Parker, Jack and Montague counties. There was also an aerial search.
David Malone's criminal record extends over a decade, and includes misdemeanors and felonies.
On Sunday night, he was moved from Parker County Jail and is now in Wise County custody.