Diamond & Tionda Bradley: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Tionda Diamond Bradley

Diamond and Tionda Bradley are two sisters who went missing in 2001 in the Chicago area, at ages 10 and three years old. Now, a woman is claiming to be Tionda Bradley, and says her sister, Diamond, is alive, too, and in college.

According to NBC Chicago, the sisters’ great aunt, Shelia Bradley-Smith, posted randomly on a Facebook page for the missing girls last week, begging the two girls to come home. In response, a woman claiming to be Tionda wrote back, “We’re trying.”

Since that interaction, Bradley-Smith and the woman began a correspondence. Bradley-Smith told NBC Chicago, “She went on to say she was Tionda, that she and Diamond have been together this entire time, that they both have kids and Diamond is in college.”

According to the news network, the two women are willing and planning on taking a DNA test in the near future, which will determine whether or not they’re telling the truth.

Tionda and Diamond Bradley disappeared in 2001 without a trace. Here’s what you need to know:

1. The Bradley Sisters Went Missing from Their South Side Neighborhood in 2001

Tionda Diamond Bradley

Tionda Bradley was 10 years old at the time of her disappearance.

Tionda and Diamond Bradley disappeared on the morning of June 6, 2001. Per The Chicago Tribune, they were last seen in their apartment; their mother, Tracey Bradley, told police she last saw her two daughters around six in the morning, before she left for work. When she returned to the apartment in the early afternoon, she found a note that was allegedly written by Tionda, saying they’d gone to a store.

To The Chicago TribuneEd Carroll, a 26-year Chicago police veteran,  said, “State police, FBI, Chicago, they threw everything they had at it.” He continued, “They set up a hotline, they set up a command post. As far as I know, there were entire (tactical) teams and detectives detailed to this investigation … at least for the first month, if not longer. When the tips started slowing down, it was full-court press.”

Carroll noted that the case filled more than five file cabinets, and that it was very difficult to narrow down the suspect list. He explained,

“Almost every case I’ve ever worked, especially the violent crimes, you are always able to either include someone or exclude someone, and this was the only case I worked in my entire career where I couldn’t exclude anyone or include anyone. It was extremely frustrating because we just didn’t know who did what.”


2. A Pastor Close to the Family Says They’ve Followed Up on Similar Tips in the Past

Tionda Diamond Bradley

Diamond Bradley was three years old at the time of her disappearance.

Pastor Paul Jakes, who has served as a spokesperson for the Bradley family in the past, told CBS that the family is praying this newfound information isn’t a hoax. He said, “We’ve done so much over the years. I’ve always kept the faith that these children would be found.”

Jakes did confirm that there have been similar tips in the past which have proven to be false. He said, “The daughter should make herself available, give a blood test and cooperate with authority.”

To Case Files Chicago in 2018, the Bradley sisters’ aunt, Aleana Torres, said, “They were such good girls. They liked to dance, they liked to play together… they were well mannered.”

3. A Private Investigator, Hired by the Family, Continued to Investigate for a Decade

Case Files Chicago – The Bradley Sisters – Full Episode HDDirector: Marc Wilkinson (SuburbanSkiesPictures.com) Producers: Andy Hale & Lisette Guillen Cam Op / Editor: Andrew K. Smith Casting: Matt Campbell Score: Samuel A. Ramirez facebook.com/CSCFChicago twitter.com/casefileschi instagram.com/casefileschicago2018-10-09T14:59:06.000Z

To The Chicago Tribune, Carroll said he worked on the Bradley sisters case until 2013, when he retired. He said,

“The fact that it was two missing kids, it just sat in my craw. I had never worked a missing persons case before that. I didn’t work another one after that, but it just bothered me. It bothered me that these two kids went missing, vanished into thin air, and we were never able to find them.”

However, private investigator Pete Foster, who has worked on the Bradley case for over a decade, told ABC Chicago, “At this point I’m skeptical. Just last month another case of Timmothy Pitzen led to heartbreak when a man claiming to be Timmothy Pitzen, [who was] missing for eight years turned out to be someone else. The Bradley family is prepared for that possibility but remaining hopeful.”

4. The Bradley Sisters Have Two Other Sisters, Victoria & Rita

Missing in Chicago: Tionda and Diamond BradleyMissing in Chicago: Tionda and Diamond Bradley Tionda and Diamond Bradley were last seen in the vicinity of 3526 South Lake Park Avenue in Chicago, Illinois on Jul 6, 2001. NCMEC's Angeline Hartmann brings the story to viewers.2018-07-30T16:51:19.000Z

To The Chicago TribuneVictoria and Rita Bradley shared memories of their lost sisters in 2016. One of the two sisters said, “[Tionda] loved double dutch, loved dancing. She was the outspoken one, of us all.”

Another sister said, “I think about them all the time,” before revealing that she’d named her own daughter Tionda. She continued, “I have breakdowns, I cry. It’s hurtful…I think about it a lot. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my sisters.”

5. The Women Claiming to Be Tionda Bradley Is LayLay Rodriguez

Missing Bradley SistersA TV interview with the mother of the missing Tionda and Diamond Bradley — If you know anything, PLEASE contact the site findtiondanddiamond.com …. your prayers will be of the utmost help.2007-08-21T00:43:07.000Z

The woman who claims to be Tionda Bradley now lives in Texas, and says that her sister does too. Her name is LayLay Rodriguez, according to several posts by Bradley-Smith to the Facebook group:

Bradley-Smith said to WBBM780 Radio, “This young lady, she insists that she’s Tionda.  She said that they were taken out of Chicago by someone known to the family.”

She continued, “She sent me photos, and I said, ‘Well, what about the scar?’  You know, Tionda had a scar on her forearm. And she got a little upset with me and said, ‘Auntie, out of all people, you should know, this is me.'”

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