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Mom: Missing woman’s car pulled from river; body inside

A body found inside a car pulled from the Missouri River alongside Platte Landing Park on Friday evening is that of a 20-year-old Wichita woman missing since Jan. 15, The Kansas City Star has learned.

The family of Toni Anderson confirmed the woman’s vehicle was pulled from the Missouri River near Parkville about 6 p.m. Friday.

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

Kansas City Police Capt. Stacey Graves confirmed that the car belonged to Toni Anderson and that a female body was found inside. However, police have not publicly released an identification.

“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. It doesn’t appear that foul play was involved.

“I just don’t know how she got there,” Liz Anderson said of her daughter. “It doesn’t make sense, one bit.”

Anderson was last seen Jan. 15 in Kansas City. She had just left her job around 4 a.m. and was on her way to meet friends.

Later that morning, Anderson was pulled over by a North Kansas City police officer on Missouri 9 for an improper lane change. Anderson told the officer that she was almost out of gas. The officer gave Anderson a warning and watched as she drove to a nearby QuikTrip.

Anderson was alone in her car the last time she was seen. Investigators have video surveillance with Anderson but are not releasing it because it is part of their investigation.

Anderson’s 2012 Ford Focus was the second vehicle pulled from the Missouri River on Friday.

Earlier in the day, search teams found an SUV under the water while conducting sonar checks, according to police. After crews pulled the vehicle out, police said it was not believed to be related to any Kansas City investigation.

The Star’s Ian Cummings and the Wichita Eagle’s Stan Finger contributed to this report.

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