BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove has confirmed that the body found Aug. 30 on Cemetery Road was that of Amber Rose Barnett.
Barnett had been missing for nearly seven months. Her family desperately searching, never giving up hope, only to find out late last week that her body was found.
Wayne Claude Adams was arrested Aug. 31 and charged with her murder. He is being held at the Harrison County Adult Detention Center on a $1 million bond.
In the meantime, the family is speaking out about who Amber was and the joy that has been taken from them when someone took her life. "She was a very vibrant person. Very lovable person. Amber never met a stranger," said her sister Jamie Suddeth. "She could talk to anybody. She was the one in school where she made friends with all the people that didn't have friends."
She was especially close to Suddeth, who was 13 when Amber was born. "I remember very clearly getting her room ready for my mom to bring her home," she said. "It was like she was mine. I just always remember her looking up at me and I just knew I would always protect her."
The 21-year-old Amber went missing in February. "I had flyers made and I went out relentlessly and went to every gas station and everywhere putting them out, appealing to the public," said her mother Mary Jo Barnett.
She said she had a bad feeling. "My heart told me that she was dead," she said. "The very same day that I reported her missing."
Her sister Jamie still can't accept what has happened. "To the last day, I thought she was coming back home," she said. "It's still, to me, unreal. It's still like this isn't true...and I think it's going to be that way until we bury her."
Her mother said she was vibrant, who loved being the center of attention. "She brought life into the room," she said. "When she came into the room, you knew Amber was there."
As the tragedy becomes more real, the memories become more cherished. "Mine was this day," Jamie said, holding up prom pictures. "Getting her ready for her dance at school. Her senior year. She just felt so beautiful that day I dolled her up. Amber wasn't a doll up girl. She said, 'Oh. Is that me?'"
While justice may be slow to come, faith has sustained the family. "Amber had the hope of the resurrection that I have," said her mother. "That's what's going to get me through this, and I hope it will Jamie get through it knowing that I will see her on God's paradise earth."
The family plans a candlelight vigil sometime in the near future.