Search for Toni Anderson continues, week after disappearance

Published: Jan. 17, 2017 at 9:06 PM CST
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Sunday update: Toni Anderson's father, Brian Anderson, says there's been an active search for Toni, now missing for a week. Brian Anderson says the effort has included an aerial search around the river, embankments, wooded areas and near her last known location in north Kansas City.

He says detectives indicated they're continuing to receive tips and information that they are actively following up on. This includes information on possible location information from a GPS installed on Toni's car.

"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 says. "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."


Thursday night update: Members of Wichita's Risen Savior Lutheran Church and many of Toni Anderson's friends gathered around a large cross outside the church for a candlelight vigil in support of Toni and her family. They say they don't have answers in Toni's disappearance, so all they can do now is pray.

Risen Savior Lutheran Church is where the Anderson family attended when they lived in Wichita. At Thursday night's vigil, there was quiet scripture readings, pleading prayers and moments of complete silence.

Luanne Duhnke and Katie Beckler, at the vigil Thursday night, say their daughters grew up with Toni and the Andersons are like family.

Duhnke and Beckler stood in for Toni's parents who remain in Kansas City, looking for their daughter. They say not knowing where Toni is, or what may have happened to her is unsettling, but they're leaning on each other and their faith for comfort.

"She's going to be a fighter," Duhnke says of Toni. "I tell you, these prayers that we are saying tonight will make her a Goliath. And all these prayers are going to help save her and bring her home to us."

Beckler says the group gathered Thursday night wants to keep Toni's name out there so that people won't forget about her.

Thursday night, the church arranged for comfort dogs from Topeka to be at the vigil to offer love and support to those struggling with the news of Toni's disappearance.


Thursday afternoon update: Many questions remain unanswered in the search for Toni Anderson. We know Toni left work on the east side of Kansas City early Sunday morning and was planning to meet up with some friends downtown.

A North Kansas City police officer pulled Toni's 2014 Ford Focus over for an illegal lane change in northwest Kansas City. The officer gave Anderson a warning, then escorted her to a QuikTrip to get gas.

Kansas City police say it seems unusual and out of the way for Toni to be in northwest Kansas City, which is five miles north of where she lives.

"Our only assumption is that that was the closest (gas station) that she knew and went there to get gas for her car," Toni's father, Brian Anderson says.

Kansas City police say the GPS tracking device installed in Toni's car has not helped in the search. Officers say the device tracks the car's speed, not its location.

Investigators are waiting on her phone records. Toni's father says he's grateful for the public's support and help in the effort to find his daughter.

"Its a surreal situation that 72 hours ago we never could've imagined," Brian Anderson says. "We're a quite simple family, and to have a situation like this and o many unknowns, it's been heartbreaking. And we're just so grateful for all our friends and family."

At 7 p.m. Thursday, a group of people will meet at Wichita's Risen Savior Lutheran Church at the outdoor cross just west of the church building. The group will have a candlelight vigil for Toni's family friends and the Wichita community to come together.


Wednesday evening update: Kansas City police aren't releasing much information on the search for Toni Anderson, saying they don't want to compromise the investigation. Police did say there is no sign of foul play at this point, meaning there is no active search.

Police say like any other missing person case, it's possible Toni decided to leave town on her own. Her friends and family say that's not like her.

A GPS device was recently installed in Toni's car. Police say they are working to get information from that device, and are also looking into her phone records. We're told Toni's phone died several hours after she was last heard from early Sunday morning. Toni's family is staying in Kansas City as the investigation continues.

It's hard not to think of the worst, but I'm confident. I'm confident in the KCPD and I'm confident that with so many people looking for her and searching for her that of course, she didn't just run away," says Toni's friend, Roxanne Townsend.

Toni's father, Brian Anderson, says support and prayers headed their way has helped the family to "keep faith and be strong."

Eyewitness News reporter Rachel Skytta asked police about surveillance video in the area where Toni was last seen.Police say they are not releasing that information right now.

Among those hoping for Toni's safe return home is Nancy Garvey, a former teacher of Toni's.

"You always care about your students," Garvey says. "You just want the very the very best for them."

Garvey says she tries to keep up with her students and has with Toni through social media and talking with other students from Toni's class.

"I've kept in contact through Facebook and other kids from the same class. That's helped me know the things that she's doing over the years," Garvey says.

Garvey calls Toni a good student with a great family.

"Toni is not the type of person that would do anything. She was a very good student," Garvey says. "Enjoyed life, but always made good choices."

Garvey says that's why she is so worried to see that Toni is missing.

"I do worry that the consequences of the disappearance is not looking very good, but I'm hoping for the best outcome," she says.

We also heard from Toni's high school swimming coach who says she was an excellent swimmer and teammate who left the program in a better place when she graduated. He says he is concerned and praying for her safety.


Wednesday morning update: Toni Anderson's family tells us they're trying to get the insurance company to release the tracking data to police.

Brian Anderson says they submitted the request on Monday, so it's frustrating that it hasn't happened yet.

"It’s a simple device installed in the vehicle," Anderson said. "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."

Anderson says a volunteer K-9 search team called Bridging the Gap from Oklahoma will be in Kansas City today to help law enforcement in their search.

Detectives were going to pull video from an ATM and a convenience store from the night she went missing. Toni was supposed to meet a friend at the store. She last texted her friend at 2:45 a.m., but she never showed up.

Anderson says Toni tried to make two ATM withdrawals at 4:33 a.m., which Anderson says would have been right before she texted her friend at 4:42 a.m. that she had been pulled over by police.

Investigators are doing a data dump of information from her cell phone in hopes of getting a better idea of who she was communicating with and where she was when the phone's battery died.


Police in Kansas City are searching for a Wichita woman after friends say she disappeared under unusual circumstances over the weekend.

Twenty-year-old Toni Anderson, from Wichita, but living in Kansas City for college, has been missing since Sunday morning.

Friends tell Kansas City CBS affiliate KCTV-5 that Toni sent a text early Sunday morning, saying she was getting pulled over. Since then, investigators say, nobody has seen nor heard from her.

Toni was driving a 2014 black Ford Focus with Kansas plates, 989-GAX. Kansas City police are working to get surveillance video from the gas station Toni was going to.

Tuesday night, Toni's father, Brian Anderson, says he learned his daughter was pulled over by an officer early Sunday morning, but it's unknown what happened after the traffic stop.

Brian Anderson says he and Toni's mother are in Kansas City, helping look for their daughter. He says a K-9 unit from Oklahoma will also be helping in the search.

"This has just been a horrible nightmare," Toni's mother, Elizabeth Anderson says. "And I don't like any parent going through this. It's just horrifying. Please help us find her."

The last text from Toni was sent a little before 5 a.m. Sunday. Her parents say Toni's work schedule keeps her out late, so that timing isn't unusual.

If you see Toni Anderson or know where she could be, call the Kansas City, Mo. Police Department's Missing Persons Unit at 816-234-5136.

Still Missing: Toni Anderson Toni Anderson was last seen alone on January 15, 2017, at 4:30 a.m. Leaving QuickTrip, 2525...

Posted by Kansas City Missouri Police Department on Monday, January 23, 2017