Elena Harte was born on February 21, 1980, in Oxford, Mississippi to Patricia and George Roye.
She's the youngest of three siblings and the family's only girl, which brought her mother great joy. Patricia, a stay-at-home mom, doted on all the children, but especially Elena.
This created a deep bond between the two during Elena's early years. So comfortable and secure was their relationship that Elena never wanted to leave her mother's side – to the point where she dreaded and feared outside social situations, such as school and church.
Warm and gregarious with her close family, Elena was painfully shy and quiet toward others. She struggled to make friends and often preferred the company of books or animals to people. Despite this, Elena always has been kind and friendly to everyone, even those she dislikes.
A good student, Elena earned a reputation as "teacher's pet" and never got into any trouble in or outside of school. After graduating from high school, she enrolled at a nearby community college to earn her two-year degree in physical therapy. She lived at home while attending school and, as such, missed out on the typical college experiences like sororities, parties and late-night group study sessions.
Immediately after graduating, Elena got a job at the local hospital and has been there ever since. She's well respected at work – especially for her dependability – and specializes in children's therapy. But she keeps to herself.
One day, while strolling through the park during her lunch break, a stray ball bounced out of a nearby tennis court and practically landed at her feet. Without hesitation, Elena picked up the ball and returned it to the young man inside the court. When their eyes met, Elena instantly knew she was in love.
Before meeting and marrying Jeff, Elena spent most of her free time with her mother, who had developed numerous disabilities due to a lifetime of weight gain and needed Elena's physical and emotional support.
Elena still visits her mother regularly, but she spends most her free time now with Jeff. The two love each other immensely, and both want to have a huge family with lots of children. One day, Elena hopes to move into the country so they can get a small farm and raise animals, too.
For years, it had seemed their dream might never come true due to the couple's inability to get pregnant. But with the help of a fertility specialist, Elena was able to conceive and now is six months pregnant. The couple's first child is a girl, whom they plan to name Katherine.
The pregnancy not only helps fulfill Elena's dream of being a mother, but it also relieves much anxiety about Jeff's relationship with his co-worker and former girlfriend, Annette. Elena has long believed that Annette still pined for her husband and has always felt uncomfortable about the two working together every day.
She trusts Jeff. Not Annette. But since her pregnancy, she has felt a change in herself and, curiously, in Annette. It's as though her husband's admirer sensed defeat and backed off. Because of this, Elena has felt more comfortable dropping by to visit Jeff at the office during lunch.
Missing dog mini posters
Small versions of the missing dog posters for column promo