Left and Center: Tonetta circa, 1989
Right: Age Progressed to age 45
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: March 16, 1989
Missing From: Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: August 28, 1973
Age: 15 years old
Height and Weight: 5’1″ and 95 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: African American Female, Black hair, Brown eyes, Tonetta has several teeth that are capped or have fillings in them, her ears are pierced and her eyes are described as being almond shaped, her hair was curly and trimmed short on the top and sides and the back was longer at the time of her 1989 abduction
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A pink/white striped blouse, a denim shirt, and a pair of white sneakers
NCMEC Number: 722063
Details of Disappearance
Tonetta was abducted from Chattanooga, Tennessee on March 16th 1989. She was last seen walking home from school at approximately 2:55 pm. Her family’s home was located in the 600 block of Hamilton Avenue in 1989. Tonetta’s kidnapping was witnessed by a woman who was on Ruth Street near Hamilton Avenue. She glanced up the hill on the street and saw Tonetta walking down the street.
As she walked, several unidentified suspects jumped out from a tan and yellow vehicle with the Tennessee license plate number LKH 920 and forcibly abducted her into the vehicle. The vehicle then drove away. The kidnapping took place just a block and a half away from Tonetta’s home at 3:00 pm. The woman told authorities that she and her husband chased the vehicle and called the police with the license plate number.
Tonetta’s mother filed a missing child report approximately 8 hours after her abduction when she never returned home from school. Investigators originally believed that Tonetta’s disappearance and the abduction were two different incidents. Tonetta was initially considered a runaway and the abduction was considered a possible domestic violence issue.
Two days after Tonetta was taken, her disappearance and the kidnapping were connected into one incident and investigators began looking for Tonetta’s kidnappers. Investigators were able to trace the plate number of the car involved in the abduction to a man named Jeffrey Jones. He had a criminal record prior to Tonetta’s abduction.
A year before Tonetta went missing, Jones had been released from prison after serving 8 years for rape and aggravated sexual assault. Investigators also discovered that Jones raped a woman who lived in his apartment complex just two months before Tonetta was abducted.
Investigators went to locate him and discovered that he had taken his own life. Jones was killed through carbon monoxide poisoning and his body was discovered on March 18th, two days after Tonetta was taken. Whatever he did to Tonetta he took with him to his grave. He left no note or anything to indicate Tonetta’s fate.
Investigators have received reported sightings of Tonetta from all over the country. They believed it was possible Tonetta was abducted to be sold into prostitution and that she might’ve been taken to California after she went missing. They no longer believe she’s alive and hope to recover her remains.
At the time of her disappearance, Tonetta was a freshman student at City High School. She enjoyed pizza and fast foods and she also liked Rap music. She liked the musical artist Bobby Brown in 1989. Her abduction remains unsolved.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Chattanooga Police Department 615-698-9752