Cold case: Mother continues search for 3-year-old daughter missing for 30 years
TACOMA, Wash. - The mother of a young girl who went missing almost 30 years ago is continuing her search for answers.
Lenoria Jones was just 3-years-old when she disappeared in the summer of 1995. She was in her great-aunt's care at that time. Now, Lenoria's biological mother, Diedra Jones, is questioning what was originally reported to Tacoma Police Department.
Jones told FOX 13, she fears foul play in her daughter's disappearance. She said she just wants answers.
"It's always like it happened yesterday," Jones said.
Lenoria has been missing since July 20, 1995. She was three years old, three feet tall and 40 pounds.
"I just remember getting the news," Jones said. "I hadn't had contact with my aunt. I've overcome, as far as she's concerned. But, I still don't have closure with Lenoria."
Her great-aunt reported her disappearance, telling Tacoma Police, she got separated from the child inside a Target store on South 23rd Street in central Tacoma. However, cameras inside the store didn't have footage of Lenoria to support what she told police.
Police said Lenoria's great-aunt, who was caring for Lenoria full-time, provided different accounts of where Lenoria was. Police said Lenoria's great-aunt said she was either kidnapped or wandered away from her home.
Lenoria Jones (Handout photo)
At the time, Lenoria's great-aunt lived on the 1900-block of South Sheridan Avenue in Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood, less than two miles from the Target store.
"The great-aunt was asked to take a polygraph test, but prior to taking the polygraph, she claimed that she wanted to tell them where Lenoria was - but could not," said Detective Julie Dier, Tacoma Police Department.
Police believe Lenoria is dead. To this day, there are no answers for Lenoria's biological mother, Diedra, or loved ones as to where she truly is or what happened that day in 1995.
"I believe one of my cousins killed my daughter," Jones said. "And I believe my aunt disposed of my daughter's body in some way where she's got to be found."
Police say they have received tips that the family was involved, however, that has never been confirmed, and they have no evidence to support it.
Jones said she just wants to know what happened to her daughter and where she is, so that she and her family can have closure and give Lenoria a proper burial.
If you have any information, Tacoma Police want you to call them at their tip line, 253-591-5959. Calls can be anonymous.
According to Crime Stoppers Tacoma/Pierce County, there are 19 total missing people in their database dating back to 1979. Four are missing children, including Lenoria.