Police have asked that anyone with information about Tonee Turner to call 412-323-7800, or 911.
by Stacy M. Brown and Rob Taylor Jr., For New Pittsburgh Courier
Tonee Turner, 22, stands about 5-feet-2 and weighs approximately 130 pounds. She has black, wavy, and shoulder-length hair, which she sometimes wears in a bonnet.
Turner went missing sometime between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Dec. 30, 2019.
Police have asked that anyone with information about Turner to call 412-323-7800, or 911.
She was last seen at Dobra Tea, a Bohemian-style tearoom in Squirrel Hill. Authorities said a firefighter discovered her wallet, cell phone and keys, and family members believe she may have traveled down Interstate 80 near Homestead. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Turner’s belongings were found by a young cyclist on the Homestead Grays Bridge pedestrian walkway later in the evening on Dec. 30.
“I’ve known her for about one year, and I met her through her sister, Sydnee Turner,” Akayla Bennett told NNPA Newswire. “She danced over to me and gave me a big hug, and I knew her soul was beautiful at that moment that I met her,” Bennett stated.
Described as an artist, educator, and a lover of dance, Turner enjoyed going to music concerts in Pittsburgh.
“If you’ve gone to concerts in Pittsburgh, you’ve probably seen Tonee in front, dancing her little heart away,” Bennett noted. “Whether she was alone or with friends, that didn’t matter to her when it came to dancing.”
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an estimated 613,000 people were reported missing in the U.S. in 2018, the most recent statistics available. Of those, 60 percent were people of color.
Although Black women make up less than 7 percent of the U.S. population, they represent about 10 percent of all missing person cases throughout the country.
Estimates by the Black and Missing Foundation put the total number of disappeared Black women and girls at more than 64,000.
Turner’s family wants her to be among those who are found safe.
“She’s bubbly and caring,” Sydnee Turner told NNPA Newswire. “She made a practice of caring for herself holistically.”
Sydnee Turner stated that her sister had an aptitude for teaching herself.
She studied nutrition, black history, art, and she also studied herself.
“Tonee is known around town as an amazing dancer. She was studying Flamenco and Kathak/Bollywood dance,” Sydnee Turner stated.
“Though she is intuitive, she is a tough person who spoke her truth.”
This past weekend, a diverse group of family, friends and supporters gathered at the Braddock Carnegie Library for a vigil for Turner. It’s the same location where Turner’s art exhibition, “Breath of Light,” was on display in 2018.