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Toni Anderson

Mother of missing co-ed says body found in submerged car is her daughter

by Ellen Killoran

Toni Anderson’s mother says police told her the death was accidental

The mother of a missing Wichita woman whose body was found with her submerged car this weekend told reporters that police do not suspect foul play in her daughter’s death.

Toni Anderson, 20, went missing in the early morning hours of January 15 after leaving her job at a Kansas City club. Reportedly on her way to meet friends, Anderson was stopped by a police officer for an improper lane change and given a warning. The officer later said he saw the young woman drive into a gas station at a convenience store. That was the last time she was seen.

The mother, Lori Anderson, told the Kansas City Star on Sunday that investigators told her the body in the car belonged to Toni, though they have not yet made a public identification. She also said the death appears to have been accidental.

“There was no foul play, “Anderson told the newspaper. “I’m so grateful for that.

Anderson said she believes her daughter became confused while driving — perhaps because she was upset about being pulled over — and ended up on a boat ramp near the river.

She got freaked out. She got lost and she got confused, or whatever. It was still dark. She was on the boat ramp and tried to back out. The ramp was icy and she slid into the river.

According to the Kansas City Star, the window of the car was open and Toni’s seatbelt was off when the car was found. She was fully clothed.

The medical examiner is performing an autopsy to determine the precise cause of death, after which the body will reportedly be cremated.

Toni Anderson had been scheduled to start the spring semester at University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her mother had previously said she worried her daughter had been kidnapped by human traffickers.

“Unfortunately this is not the outcome we wanted,” Liz Anderson told the Kansas City Star on Sunday. “The police have been amazing to us. We are so grateful for the help, love and support from the Kansas City community.”

Photo: Handout

 

 

 

Ellen is a seasoned journalist and former media & entertainment reporter with a taste for true crime. Formerly a senior editor at IBTimes, her work has appeared in Forbes, Rolling Stone, Maxim, NYMag, Indiewire, and more. She co-produced the HBO documentary "Youth Knows No Pain" and appeared in a documentary series that aired alongside the Lifetime movie "Manson's Lost Girls."