CHICAGO — It’s been 20 years since the disappearance of two young sisters from Chicago’s South Side. Diamond Bradley, 3, and Tionda Bradley,10, vanished without a trace on July 6, 2001.
Their disappearance quickly became one of the most talked about missing persons cases in the city. On that day, the girls’ mother left for work at 6 a.m. and when she got home around five hours later — the girls were gone.
Investigators said she found a note written by 10-year-old Tionda, saying that the girls had left to go to a nearby store and park. But the Bradley family believes the words and the grammar were too advanced for a little girl. They believe someone Tionda knew may have coerced her into writing it.
Chicago investigators searched more than 5,000 abandoned homes and questioned dozens of people, but the case remains unsolved today.
In 2019, a heartbreaking hoax touched the family when a woman in Texas, who claimed to be Tionda, reached out to the girls’ great-aunt Shelia Bradley-Smith. The great-aunt said the conversations grew more cryptic and woman stopped responding when the she pressed with specific questions.
“People don’t think that it will happen to them but let’s not forget we have a possible murderer walking the streets…is that okay Chicago?” Smith said.
The family remains optimistic they will one day find answers to the girls’ disappearance.
On Tuesday afternoon, the 20th anniversary, they held a balloon release outside of the old apartment.
“Whoever you are, your family knows what you did. Y’all need to break the silence,” Bradley-Smith said.
The girls’ mother Tracey Bradley said not a day goes by she doesn’t think about the day her daughters went missing. She’s calling on prosecutors to review the case and re-interview people from the past.
“Start from the beginning to the end,” Bradley said. “We have to keep them in the public’s eye, we have to keep hope alive, keep them in the news until some little bitty thing breaks through.”
Anyone with information can leave an anonymous tip at cpdtip.com.
Read more Chicago news headlines here.