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Mom: Missing Wichita woman’s car found in river; body inside

Toni Anderson's vehicle pulled from Missouri River

The vehicle belonging to Toni Anderson of Wichita who has been missing since Jan. 15, was pulled from the Missouri River on Friday evening in Parkville. The vehicle contained a woman's body, police said.
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The vehicle belonging to Toni Anderson of Wichita who has been missing since Jan. 15, was pulled from the Missouri River on Friday evening in Parkville. The vehicle contained a woman's body, police said.

The car belonging to missing Wichita woman Toni Anderson was found early Friday night in the Missouri River next to Parkville, Mo., her mother said.

“We just got the news — there’s a body in her car,” Liz Anderson said Friday, sobbing, as she spoke on her cellphone. “There is somebody inside.”

A nonprofit organization was searching the river with sonar equipment when Toni’s Ford Focus was found, her mother said. Divers were able to confirm the vehicle via the license plate.

“I just don’t know how she got there,” Liz Anderson said of her daughter, a 2014 graduate of Wichita East High School. “It doesn’t make sense, one bit.”

Kansas City police Capt. Stacey Graves confirmed that the car belonged to Toni Anderson and that a female body was found inside.

“KCPD has searched tirelessly for Toni Anderson, as we do in all missing person cases,” Graves said. “We have searched for her by land, air, sonar, water. Our thoughts and prayers are with Toni Anderson’s family this evening.”

She added that the body found in the car will be taken to the medical examiner’s office to determine the cause of death and provide a positive identification.

The vehicle was found in the water a few feet off the bank from Platte Landing Park, KMBC-TV reported.

Toni Anderson, 20, was last seen early on the morning of Jan. 15 after she left work in Kansas City. Her 2012 Ford Focus was one of two vehicles found in the Missouri River by the nonprofit company on Friday.

Earlier in the day, Kansas City police said an SUV pulled from the river was not connected to any active investigations. But Toni Anderson’s car was found at about 6 p.m., and her mother received news that a body was inside about an hour later.

The family had hired the nonprofit company, Liz Anderson said, and they had searched the river for two days without finding anything. They decided to search for a third day — and that’s when Toni’s black Focus was found.

Members of the Risen Savior Lutheran Church and others gathered at a candlelight vigil at the church on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, to pray for Toni Anderson, the missing 20-year-old Wichita woman who was last heard from on Sunday in Kansas City. (Vi

Contributing: Toriano Porter, Ian Cummings and Glenn Rice of the Kansas City Star

Stan Finger: 316-268-6437, @StanFinger

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