By Brad Edwards

(CBS) — For 17 years, she has remained silent, not once speaking out about her daughter’s murder.

Amber Creek’s mother broke her silence Wednesday and finally shared her story, speaking with CBS 2’s Brad Edwards.

Amber was a troubled teenager, a habitual runaway, and a ward of the state when she disappeared in January 1997. Her body was found a month later and an autopsy revealed she had been beaten and sexually assaulted.

36-year-old James Eaton from Palatine has been charged in Amber’s murder. Since the story broke, numerous family members have spoken to the media, but not Amber’s mother, until now.

Pictures and memories are all that Elizabeth Mowry has left now. When she sat down with Brad Edwards, she ruminated on a court date when Amber went into the care of the state.

“Oh God, I knew I should have taken her.,” said Mowry.

Amber eventually fled a state home and crossed, police say, James Eaton who raped and killed her in 1997 and went uncaught until now.

“I didn’t think they’d ever find this person. I’m so happy for that, that they found this monster.”

Elizabeth’s brother and Amber’s uncle Anthony Mowers says their lives are marked starkly before and after Amber.

“She has no life anymore,” said Anthony Mower. “Took her life and Amber’s life, this guy. Nothing to say, nothing anymore.”

Except, he says, justice for Amber. Anthony Mowers was in court Wednesday and promises to be there every day for Amber.

Elizabeth Mowers said she wants to, but was unable to bring herself Wednesday.