Toni Anderson may have been found dead, with authorities finding a woman’s body in a submerged car that was later believed to be that of the missing woman.
Authorities this week found the 2012 black Ford Focus that belonged to Anderson, who went missing in January after leaving her work shift. The car was discovered some 10 miles from where the 20-year-old was last seen before she went missing, NBC News reported.
A woman’s body was found in the car, but authorities have not yet identified whether it was Toni Anderson who was found dead. The body has been sent for an autopsy that authorities say will positively identify the body and will likely determine the cause and manner of death, but that official word may not come until early in the coming week.
BREAKING: Officials say female body has been found inside Toni Anderson's car. Unknown if it's her, right now. pic.twitter.com/tbg60w3dqA
— KCTV5 News (@KCTV5) March 11, 2017
— Ellen McNamara (@EllenKCTV5) March 11, 2017
As NBC News reported, there was considerable mystery surrounding how Toni Anderson went missing. She left her job as a server at Chrome, an adult entertainment club, when she was pulled over by a North Kansas City police officer for making an illegal lane change.
Toni told the officer that she was almost out of gas, so he pointed her to a gas station and gave her a warning. It was then that she disappeared, NBC News noted.
“At 4:42 a.m., one of Toni’s close friends received a text from Toni reading, ‘Omg I just got pulled over again.’ It’s unclear if that text was sent in reference to the North Kansas City officer’s stop or if Toni had been pulled over again after that. Officials have no record of any other officer pulling Toni over that night.
“Authorities have said they do not suspect foul play at this time, but continue to investigate.”
The search for Toni Anderson became a national story a few weeks after her disappearance, when her story was featured on Dateline. The missing woman’s family has also made the rounds among local and national media, calling on anyone with information on her disappearance to come forward.
“This has just been a horrible nightmare,” Toni’s mother, Elizabeth Anderson, told KWCH. “And I don’t like any parent going through this. It’s just horrifying. Please help us find her.”
Toni’s boyfriend, Pete Sanchez, also helped the family created a petition requesting any surveillance footage of Toni from that night as well as the police officer’s dashcam footage.
“We feel that with the footage released it will lead to clues… We all want to see the footage. We feel like this will be the next step to bringing Toni home,” Pete said.
Many members of the community also participated in the search for Toni Anderson, and the missing woman’s family said the response was overwhelming.
“We continue to appreciate all of the support from the media, the hard work of the Kansas City police detectives they’re putting into this,” Brian Anderson said in a statement (via KWCH). “The love and prayers that are coming from literally all over the country and around the world at this point… We just want to continue to make sure that we’ve gotta keep her story out there, that people keep their eyes peeled and if they see something to please contact the police department or call Crime Stoppers.”
Reports indicated that it would be at least a few more days before it is positively identified whether Toni Anderson was the woman found dead in the submerged car.
[Featured Image by Larry W. Smith/Getty Images]