While attending his daughter’s prayer vigil Saturday evening, it was certainly a tough night for Brian Anderson. However, he’s also hopeful regarding a new possible lead from police.
Toni Anderson’s father, Brian Anderson, met with 41 Action News at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Westport before his daughter’s vigil, which was organized by friends.
"It's to bring together her friends and provide comfort for all of us,” he said.
Brian drove down from Minnesota Friday in order to pack up his daughter’s belongings from her apartment, something he said was incredibly hard to do.
"Having to touch all of her things, and touch all of the memories that I've had with her growing up, it was very hard,” he said.
Toni, 20-years-old, disappeared in the early hours of January 15. She was last seen by North Kansas City Police who pulled her over for a lane violation. Soon after, she sent a text to a friend that read, “OMG just got pulled over again.” No one has seen or heard from her since.
Toni’s mother, Liz Anderson, recently told reporters she believes sex trafficking may be the most likely explanation for her daughter’s disappearance.
"We don't know. It's one of a couple of possible scenarios at this point,” said Brian Anderson.
Brian is hoping a new incoming lead from KCPD provides answers.
"They were finally able to obtain the iCloud information from Apple. So they indicated on Thursday they're still going through all the records and information,” he said.
But Saturday evening, with several of Toni’s friends present inside the church, Toni’s vigil was more about healing than anything. Friends and family even received support from strangers – who unfortunately can relate to such a tragedy – such as Anna Rea, whose 18-year-old daughter, Crystal Kipper, disappeared just north of Platte City in 1997.
"It's an extremely awful place to be and so I just want to support him and his family and let him know we care about Toni and we're praying that she's found,” said Rea.
And that’s the kindness and support Brian and his family are happy to embrace right now.
"And just keep her in your hearts. We can feel it and it means a lot to our family,” said Brian.
A friend of Toni’s also recently paid to have her headshot and description posted to Twitter in several other cities aside from Kansas City this past week, including El Paso, Atlanta and Houston.
KCPD told 41 Action News Saturday evening they have no new information regarding Toni’s investigation.
If you have any information you’re urged to call the TIPS hotline – 816-474-TIPS.
Josh Helmuth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org