Crime

Missing Woman Found Dead In Submerged Car

| by Michael Doherty

A body found in a submerged car in the Missouri River near Kansas City, Missouri, has been identified as Toni Anderson, who went missing in mid-January.

Anderson's remains were found March 10 inside a car that had been submerged in the Missouri River, after a months-long search for the 20-year-old woman from Wichita, Kansas, who went missing in January while driving home from work, CNN reports. Authorities have not yet determined a cause of death.

Anderson had sent a final text message the night of her disappearance to a friend, saying she had been pulled over by police. Police initially denied that Anderson had been pulled over, but later said she had been pulled over by a North Kansas City Officer for an improper lane change.

Anderson was reportedly let off with a warning by the police officer, but investigators say the woman may have gotten turned around after the stop.

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"OMG just just pulled over again," Anderson reportedly texted friend Roxanne Townsend the night of her disappearance, according to Daily Mail. Townsend said Anderson "got pulled over all the time."

Police, who believe that Anderson's car, a 2014 Ford Focus, slipped off of ice into the river after she got turned around from being pulled over, do not suspect foul play in her death.

"I can’t confirm anything that has been told to the family of Toni Anderson, but I can say that at this point, we don’t have any evidence that suggests foul play,” said Kansas City police spokesperson Capt. Stacey Graves, reports The Kansas City Star.

"We just got the news, there is a body in the car," said Liz Anderson, her mother. "There is somebody inside."

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The Anderson family had hired private investigators, who reportedly used sonar to discover the car's location.

The vehicle was found a few feet into the water at Platte Landing Park. Anderson's mother wasn't sure how her daughter's car could have ended up there, around 8 miles from the last known location from her cellphone.

Police reportedly found Anderson's car with the window down and her seatbelt off. The body will be taken to a medical examiner's office, where a cause of death will be determined.

Pete Sanchez, Anderson's boyfriend, said she had been leaving work at Chrome, a club in Kansas City, around 4 a.m. on Jan. 15, the night of her disappearance.

Anderson's ATM card was used at a nearby QuikTrip gas station shortly before her GPS system stopped working. Police have not said whether the GPS broke or if someone tampered with it.

Police reportedly have surveillance video of Anderson from the night, but are not releasing it currently.

Sources: CNN, Daily Mail, The Kansas City Star / Photo credit: Twitter via The Kansas City Star

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