Details of Disappearance
Tionda was last seen at her family's residence in the 3500 block of South Lake Park Avenue in Chicago, Illinois on July 6, 2001. Her mother departed for work at approximately 6:30 a.m. Tionda and her younger sister, Diamond Bradley, stayed at the house during the morning. Their mother, Tracey Bradley, discovered that the girls were not inside their residence when she returned at approximately 11:00 a.m. Tionda apparently left a note stating that she and Diamond planned to walk to a nearby school and store. Tionda was enrolled in summer classes at Doolittle Elementary School at the time, but school officials said that she was absent the day of her disappearance.
Several neighborhood children told authorities that they saw Tionda and Diamond playing outside of their residence at approximately 12:00 p.m. Neither child has been heard from again. An extensive search of the surrounding areas produced no clues as to their whereabouts.
Tionda is described as having a shy nature when dealing with strangers. Her hobbies include running track and dancing. She uses the term "Girl" often and pronounces "bye-bye" as "baby-bye."
Authorities said that Tracey was not cooperating with investigators in relation to her daughters' cases. She shoved a police officer who requested that she accompany him to the precinct to discuss new leads in March 2002. Tracey was placed in handcuffs and taken to the station, where she briefly spoke with investigators. Her attorney arrived shortly thereafter and stopped the interview. Authorities said that Tracey missed several scheduled appointments with detectives in the past. Tracey's spiritual advisor told the media that officers had violated her rights by forcibly taking her to the precinct. Authorities said that Tracey was physically combative and they needed to restrain her in handcuffs.
Tracey's mother voluntarily took a polygraph exam shortly after Tionda and Diamond disappeared as a matter of cooperation. She is not being called a suspect in her daughters' disappearances. Authorities are interviewing most of the girls' relatives and friends once again as the investigations continue. They searched the children's great-grandfather's Wisconsin home but found no evidence. Some investigators theorized that Diamond and Tionda were taken by a North African man who had paid child support for one of them until the summer of 2001, when he learned he was not her father. FBI agents went to Morocco to investigate the lead, but did not find any evidence that the Bradley children had been there. Police believe Tionda would have contacted her loved ones by now if she could have; they think both children are either deceased or have been taken out of the country.
Authorities located a young girl who matched Diamond's description in November 2001. The child was lost and investigators asked Tracey to identify the girl, but she refused. Tracey's mother arrived at the precinct and stated that the child was not Diamond. The girl was eventually identified and returned to her family. Human remains, believed to be those of a girl in her early teens, were found in an industrial area on the far south side of Chicago, near some railroad tracks, in late April 2005. Investigators initially thought they might be Tionda's, but scientists who examined the remains said they were probably from a Caucasian or Hispanic girl. They have not been identified.
The Bradley sisters' cases remain unsolved.