UPDATE, March 10, 2017: Police have found missing Kansas City woman Toni Anderson’s car in the Missouri River in Parkville, her mother tells KSHB-TV.
Police said a female body was found in the car, but it has not yet been identified as Toni.
Anderson, 20, a Wichita, Kansas, native, disappeared from Kansas City, Missouri, after leaving work in January.
Her family said a volunteer sonar search team led police to the car.
You can watch live coverage from the scene below:
You can read Heavy’s original report below:
Family and friends are desperately searching for a missing college student in Kansas City, Missouri, who disappeared early Sunday morning after texting a friend to say she was being “pulled over again.”
Toni Anderson, a 20-year-old native of Wichita, Kansas, was in fact stopped Sunday by the North Kansas City Police Department, but investigators do not know where she went after that, KSHB-TV reports.
She was last seen Sunday, January 15, but she is not considered to be an endangered missing person, police say.
Police told KWCH-TV that there are no signs of foul play at this point, “meaning there is no active search.” But investigators have been following leads, tracking down evidence and interviewing family members, friends and her boyfriend, according to reports.
“We’ve spoken with family members, friends and co-workers but unfortunately still no sign of Toni’s whereabouts,” Kansas City Police spokesman Darrin Snapp told the Wichita Eagle on Thursday. “There is no evidence of foul play but her disappearance is very concerning.”
Police said like in other missing persons cases, Anderson may have left on her own, KWCH reports. But her mother told KHSB it’s unlike her daughter to be out of contact with her loved ones or to leave on her own.
“It’s not like her. She’s social. You pretty much always know where she’s at,” Liz Anderson told the news station. “It’s just been a horrible nightmare. And I know any parent going through this is just horrified.”
Pete Sanchez, Anderson’s boyfriend, told WDAF-TV, “She’s a great person, really nice. We’re all worried sick for her. Every time I leave the house, I hope the next face I see in public is going to be her.”
The Kansas City Police Department is investigating and ask anyone with information to call 816-474-TIPS.
Anderson’s name is also spelled Tonie Anderson on some missing persons posters and other information being distributed.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Say ‘It’s Almost Like She Vanished’ After Anderson Was Pulled Over by a Cop in North Kansas City
Friends say Toni Anderson left the club where she worked about 4 a.m. Her final text message was sent at 4:42 to a friend, Roxy Townsend, WDAF-TV reports.
The text said “Omg just just pulled over again.”
Townsend said Anderson wrote “again” because she gets pulled over all the time,” WDAF reports.
Kansas City Police initially could not find any record of Anderson being stopped by any of their officer or by officers from other departments, and concerns grew that she may have encountered a police impersonator.
“We’ve called every police station, every jail, every hospital, and no one seems to have her,” Townsend told KSHB-TV.
But then on Tuesday, police said they had determined she was pulled over by a North Kansas City Police officer. However, she was let go after the stop, not arrested or taken into custody, police said.
Anderson works as a server at Chrome, a strip club located at 7400 U.S. Interstate 40 in Kansas City, WDAF reports. She left there about 4 a.m.
Kansas Police spokesman Darin Snapp told WDAF-TV the North Kansas City officer stopped Anderson for making an illegal lane change near a QuikTrip gas station about 4:25 a.m.
She told the officer she was almost out of gas.
“So the officer just told her, you know, there’s a gas station right there, gave her a warning for the violation and watched her actually go to the QuikTrip,” Snapp told WDAF.
The officer watched Anderson pump gas into her car. And surveillance video showed her attempting to withdraw money from an ATM twice. Anderson was alone in the car, police said.
The gas station is located at 2525 Burlington Street in North Kansas City, about a 15 minute drive from the club where Anderson works, located at 7400 US-40 in Kansas City.
She left the gas station about 4:40 a.m., police said. She then texted her friend to tell her about being stopped by police.
“And no one has seen or heard from her since,” her father, Brian Anderson, told the news station.
“She just got off work and she was going to another place to meet some friends and she never showed up. But it’s nowhere close to where she was at in North Kansas City,” Snapp told KSHB-TV. “After that QuikTrip. It’s almost like she vanished.”
She was supposed to be headed to a business in downtown Kansas City to meet a friend, Snapp said. Her family and friends have said she was headed to a different QuikTrip gas station than the one where she got gas, located in downtown.
Police said they have searched for her and her car in Kansas City.
“We’re thinking she might be out of the area,” he said.
Police are now working to re-trace the steps Anderson took after leaving the gas station early Sunday morning.
Her phone was connected to the T-Mobile network until about 9:30 p.m. Sunday night, when it went dark, KMBC-TV reports.
Police said her car also has a tracker from an insurance company, and they are working to obtain those records.
“It’s a simple device installed in the vehicle,” her father, Brian Anderson, told KWCH-TV. “It constantly emits a signal so we’re kind of dumbfounded that it’s now 48 hours later and they still don’t have access to that information. We don’t understand, it’s after multiple contacts by ourselves and the police department.”
Investigators eventually received the information on Wednesday, police said. But the device is no longer working, so police are not sure if it is malfunctioning or was removed.
Police said they are doing a data dump of Anderson’s phone to try to find out who she was communicating with before it went dead. Attempts to ping it have not been successful, police said.
They are also looking for surveillance video from businesses where she may have been.
Anderson was driving a black 2014 Ford Focus with the Kansas license plate 989 GAX. She is described as being about 5 foot 4 or 5 foot 5 weighing 140 pounds with blonde hair and green eyes. Anderson was wearing black sweatpants.
Friends have said she was supposed to meets someone at a QuikTrip, but never did. She last sent a text message to that friend at 2:45 a.m. It is not clear if that was the same QuikTrip where she stopped for gas after being pulled over.
Police and family had previously referenced a QuikTrip gas station located at 3101 Southwest Boulevard, near 31st, but it is not clear if that is where she was headed.
Sources told WDAF-TV that Anderson was going to meet friends at the Shady Lady, another strip club on the eastside of Kansas City.
Many details about the events leading up to Anderson’s disappearance remain murky.
Anderson lives in an apartment in Kansas City, her friends said.
“Her house, her apartment on Grand is like twenty minutes from the club, so she would have been somewhere on I-70,” Townsend told KSHB-TV.
She often worked late hours because of her job, her family said.
Her boyfriend, Pete Sanchez, told WDAF he was asleep when Anderson was getting off work.
“It was just like any other night. I just thought she’d come home,” he said. “I just want her to be safe. Her safety is my main concern right now.”
Townsend told the Wichita Eagle, “(Sanchez) didn’t really think anything of it,” when Anderson didn’t come right home after work.
“Sometimes she’ll just go hang out with her coworkers or her friends after work, even though it’s really late at night,” Townsend told the newspaper. “Or she’ll sleep at a friend’s house. So it wasn’t that strange.”
But when she still wasn’t home Sunday afternoon when Sanchez got back from work, “I knew something was wrong,” Townsend said.
Anderson’s friends and family then reported her missing to police.
2. She Was Supposed to Start Classes Tuesday at the University of Missouri-Kansas City
Anderson was supposed to start classes again Tuesday at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, her family told KMBC-TV.
“She had her classes lined up, her itinerary all set-up. Everything was in her apartment, and she was ready to start school again,” her father, Brian Anderson, told the news station.
Anderson is originally from Wichita, Kansas, according to her Facebook page. She is studying interpersonal communication at UMKC.
She graduated from Wichita High School East in 2014 and studied for a year at Wichita State University before transferring to UMKC.
“It’s a situation we never would have imagined finding ourselves in 24 hours ago,” Brian Anderson said.
Her boyfriend, Pete Sanchez, said he has lived with Anderson in Kansas City for the past two years. He moved with her from Wichita.
Her friend, Roxy Townsend, said Anderson wouldn’t want to scare her loved ones, and would come home if she saw the pleas from family and friends.
“She couldn’t possibly see that and still choose to stay missing,” Townsend told KMBC-TV. “So wherever she is, it’s not somewhere she wants to be.”
3. Her Parents Say She Is an ‘Outstanding Student & Athlete’ & They Are Begging for Help Finding Her
Anderson’s parents are staying with her friends in Kansas City to help search for their daughter.
“It’s so hard, such a beautiful, bright, young woman. I just want to find her,” Liz Anderson told KSHB-TV.
On Tuesday, they pleaded for help in finding her.
“Please, please. I just ask you please try to find my baby,” Liz Anderson told reporters, saying she is an “outstanding student, and an athlete.”
Brian Anderson said they are “not holding up” well, and his daughter never goes more than a day without checking in.
“This has just been a horrible nightmare,” Liz Anderson said. “And I don’t like any parent going through this. It’s just horrifying. Please help us find her.
“Please do whatever you can. Please. Please help us get her home. Back with her parents and her friends and her school.”
Brian Anderson told WDAF, “a lot of faith, a lot of friends,” are helping them get through it, saying “all of Toni’s friends have been amazing. The authorities have been unbelievable to work with.”
Liz Anderson agreed, telling the news station, “Everybody’s been so wonderful and supportive and we’re very blessed. We are very blessed to have such good friends and Toni to have such good friends. Let her go. Let her be with us. Let her go have her wonderful life.”
4. She Works at a Strip Club & Has Also Worked as a Concert Promoter & a Writer for EDM Websites
Anderson is an electronic dance music fan and has worked in the industry, promoting concerts and events, and writing reviews of EDM shows, according to her social media pages, which show her at concerts and festivals around the country.
She is a promoter for the Kansas City-based Hy-Tekk Productions.
“Our close friend and associate Toni Anderson is missing. If anyone has information to her whereabouts please call the authorities today. #WeLoveYouToni,” Hy-Tekk posted on Facebook.
She has written concert reviews, previews and news stories for The Nocturnal Times.
“Our writer Toni Anderson has been reported missing in the Kansas City, MO area. Please contact authorities with any information you may have,” the website posted on Twitter.
Anderson’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages also include several modeling photos.
“She’s a good girl. She doesn’t get into trouble,” her friend, Roxy Townsend, who has known her since middle school, told the Wichita Eagle. “She travels all over the world by herself. She loves to travel and nothing bad happens to her there.”
5. Anderson’s Boyfriend Has Started a GoFundMe Page to Hire a Private Investigator & Is Posting Updates on Her Social Media Pages
Anderson’s boyfriend, Pete Sanchez, has been providing updates about the search for her on her social media pages:
“I’m sorry for the confusion but this is her boyfriend using her account to gain info and spread awareness. Even if you think the info you can share has been said or thought of please don’t hesitate to message,” he wrote on Facebook. “I’m talking to as many people as I can via twitter and snapchat so if I take long to get back I’m sorry but I read everything. Thank you everyone for your support.”
Sanchez also created a GoFundMe account to raise money to hire a private investigator. More than $3,200 had been donated toward the $3,000 goal by Tuesday night.
“Our NEW goal, is to raise an additional $5,000 to put towards a reward and to help the Anderson family with any additional expenses,” Sanchez wrote.
He has asked people to use #BringToniHome to spread information about the case.
The GoFundMe account later raised more than $8,000, and the funds were turned over to Anderson’s parents. Plans to hire a private investigator have been put on hold to allow for police to investigate, the family said. The money could be used for a reward, Anderson’s father said.
A vigil was held Thursday night at a church in her home town of Wichita.