Christine Arnold was born October 17, 1985, the daughter of Theodore and Marcie Arnold. Theodore had moved to Tupelo after his first wife died in a solo car crash outside of Atlanta, Georgia, where Theodore worked at the headquarters of a nationwide furniture chain. Six months after her death, Ted lined up a transfer to the company’s plant in Ecru, Mississippi and settled in nearby Tupelo. Ted politely declined blind date setup offers until a coworker insisted that Ted meet her sister, a nurse at Tupelo's North Mississippi Medical Center. Ted and Marcie hit it off and were married six months after meeting. A year after the wedding, Theodore, Jr., was born, followed two years later by Christine.

Marcie returned to work in the medical center's home health and hospice unit as soon as both children were in school -- part-time at first, and then full-time as they entered high school. Her mother's commitment to her career and the lifelong learning it required made a strong impression on Christy, who as a result became an inquisitive student. Still, Christy was overshadowed by the athletic feats of her brother, Ted, Jr., who from his first outing in the youth football league showed promise as a wide receiver. In high school, Christy couldn't resist riding his coat tails; she wasn't on the cheerleading team, but she counted the squad captain as her best friend and went to all the games and the parties. Christy's interest in academics waned, and she maintained a B average through high school.

When Ted, Jr., and the Tupelo High team went to the state finals in his junior year, the Arnolds's church held a special prayer service (they won). Ole Miss offered him an athletic scholarship, which he accepted, leaving Christy to finish her final two years of high school without his celebrity presence. Christy settled down and was elected student body secretary her senior year.

Since freshman year Christy had volunteered in the office at church, and when she graduated, one of the board members recommended her as a receptionist for one of the medical center's doctors. Christy applied herself diligently to the job, but began feeling restless still living at home. Whenever her brother called or visited, he crowed about the social life in Oxford; two of Christy's high school friends were there, and when they moved into an apartment their sophomore year they invited Christy to join them. Above the objections of her parents, Christy moved to Oxford.

Thanks to a stellar job recommendation praising her attention to detail and discretion handling private patient records, Christy was able to land a position as a junior court clerk for Yoknapatawpha County. She thrived at the job and earned praise from attorneys who worked with her.

Until they graduated, Christy still partied with her roommates and cheered for her brother from the stands -- but when they left, she stayed on, and enrolled at Northwest Mississippi Community College in the fall of 2009 in the paralegal certificate program.

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