Left and Center: Toni circa, 1990
Right: Age Progressed to age 36
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: March 16, 1990
Missing From: Oakland, Alameda County, California
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: June 4, 1972
Age: 17 years old
Height and Weight: 5’3″ and 110 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: African American Female, Black hair, Brown eyes, Toni was 2 months pregnant at the time of her 1990 disappearance, she has a scar on her right knee and a mole on her left calf, her ears are double pierced, Toni has gaps in between her teeth, she was known to comb her hair to the side at the time of her disappearance and agencies spell her middle name as “Danielle” or “Danieelle”
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A light blue jean jacket, a black tube top trimmed with lace, black linen shorts, a pair of white loafers, Toni was last known to be wearing a gold chain bracelet and two gold nugget rings on her right hand
NCMEC Number: 737294
Details of Disappearance
Toni was last seen in Oakland, California on March 16th 1990. She had gone to a cousins house to visit family and friends in what was described as a rough neighborhood in the area. She was last seen leaving her cousins home to drive back to her family’s residence which was located in San Francisco, California.
Toni was driving her boyfriend’s car at the time of her disappearance. The vehicle was described as a 1979 Chevrolet Camaro and her cousin recounted that Toni had trouble starting the car before it finally did. She left at approximately 11:15 pm and this is the last confirmed time she was seen alive.
At approximately 11:45 pm, the car in which Toni was last seen in was found on the San Francisco Bay Bridge. The car apparently stalled again minutes before and another car collided into it. The impact of the collision caused the car to get knocked into the guardrail. When police arrived at the scene, they found that the cars driver door was open and the incident report indicates that no lights or flashers on when it was crashed into.
A witness additionally reported that they saw someone who matched Toni’s description standing directly in front of the vehicle and appeared to be lowering or raising the hood of the car. After the accident, the person was no longer there. Authorities immediately believed that the impact of the accident caused Toni to fall over the bridge and into the bay.
The United States Coast Guard dragged the bottom of the bay and searched for any trace of Toni. They didn’t find her body or any evidence that she fell over the bridge. It should also be noted that no hair, blood, bodily fluids, or oil residue was found in the car. Despite this, police believe that Toni was the victim of an accident and that her body was swept out to sea.
Toni’s mother, Gwen Clark, does not believe her daughter was killed by the accident or fell over the bridge. She believes Toni was abducted by a stranger. Gwen has stated she actually received a phone call from her daughter a week after her disappearance. She said she picked up the phone and for 40 seconds, she heard a young woman crying on the other line before it ended. The call was unable to be traced.
Police originally closed the investigation into her disappearance. Gwen has also said her daughters case was neglected by the media. A few newspapers wrote about her disappearance but it didn’t get enough attention as other California cases. She believes race and economic status played a role in her daughters case not getting the spotlight. She even attempted to put posters up about her daughter but found they had been ripped down.
In 1991, the man who rammed into Toni’s car was charged with manslaughter in her disappearance. He was eventually acquitted of the charges since there’s no evidence that Toni was killed or was currently deceased.
More recent officials believe Toni was kidnapped. Witnesses didn’t see Toni’s body fall over the bridge and her bracelet which she never took off was found on the passenger side floorboard of the car along with her car keys. Another witness even reported they saw an African American man looking under Toni’s car and others saw him leaving the scene.
Investigators haven’t named any suspects in her disappearance. At the time of her disappearance, she enjoyed swimming and dancing and was on her high schools track team. She was a senior student at Peninsula High School in 1990. Some agencies might list San Bruno, California as the place she disappeared from.
Toni’s case remains unsolved and foul play is possible in her disappearance. It’s currently classified as a non family abduction.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
San Bruno Police Department (650) 616-7100
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
California Department of Justice
The San Francisco Examiner 03/22/1990
Dean Marie Pyle Peters and cold cases
The San Francisco Examiner 03/20/1990