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Friends, family mourn murdered Charity as fear grips Ferris area

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RUSTY WELLER
Ellis County Press Managing Editor
FERRIS - Family and friends of Charity Sue Comes grieved this past week while fear gripped the area as investigators seek to determine how and why the 14-year-old Ferris High freshman was murdered.

Bryan Corley, Charity's stepfather, told the Ellis County Press so many Ferris area residents had called and expressed fear of a murderer being on the loose he volunteered information to better put them at ease.

Comes' nude body was found a week ago Sunday on the bank of Red Oak Creek off Farrar Road between Rockett and Palmer near a popular swimming area. A medical examiner determined on Labor Day she had been strangled to death. A bra was found around her neck, according to Chief Deputy Charles Sullins.

'I think Charity left the house of her own will,' said Corley, a Dallas County Sheriff's Department deputy who works in Traffic Division. He further said Charity likely knew her killer, that she wasn't abducted but willingly left the safety of her home on Aug. 31.

'Mothers have been calling, saying they and their daughters are afraid to sleep in their beds at night because some murderer might break in,' Corley told the Press, adding he wanted people to know he believed that wasn't the case with Charity.

Many of Comes' friends have been interviewed as investigators try to determine what happened late Wednesday, Aug. 31, or early Thursday, Sept. 1, when she disappeared. Comes was missing from her bed in the morning, and her window was open, leading some to speculate she had been abducted.

Sullins urged anyone with information about the case to call the Ellis County Sheriff's Department at 972-937-6060.

Counselors from Ferris ISD schools were called to Ferris High to help students deal with the loss of Charity, who was buried beside her mother at Edgewood Cemetery after a Saturday afternoon service at Byrum Funeral Home.

Friends placed a cross last Thursday near where the body was discovered. 'In Loving Memory of Charity,' was painted on the wooden cross nailed to a tree and topped with a small wreath of flowers. It was signed by several of her friends and classmates.

Charity was described as 'vivacious, very active, very outdoorsy' by her aunt, Karen Rider.

Corley said the Ferris area family is experiencing a mixture of sadness and frustration, especially while making funeral arrangements and waiting on police reports.

The Ellis and Dallas County sheriffs' department are cooperating on the investigation, with Dallas lending two detectives.

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