Black ExperienceStacy M. Brown

Pittsburgh Girl Tonee Turner Joins List of Missing Black Girls

Tonee Turner, 22, stands at about 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs approximately 130 pounds. She has black, wavy, and shoulder-length hair, which she sometimes wears in a bonnet.

Turner, now listed by the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police as Report No. 19-264396, disappeared sometime between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Dec. 30.

She was last seen at Dobra Tea, a Bohemian-style tearoom in the Steel City. Authorities said a firefighter discovered her wallet, cellphone, and keys, and family members believe she may have traveled down Interstate 80 near Homestead, Pennsylvania.

“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.”

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 missing 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 said 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,” Turner said of her sister. “She was studying Flamenco and Kathak/Bollywood dance.

“Though she is intuitive, she is a tough person who spoke her truth,” she said.

Police have asked for anyone with information about Tonee Turner to call 412-323-7800 or 911.

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