What Happened To Tonetta Carlisle? Authorities Say Teen Was Abducted From Tennessee

Tonetta Carlisle was last seen being forced into a vehicle in Chattanooga on March 16, 1989. If you know anything about Tonetta's case, please contact the Chattanooga Police directly: 423-698-2525.

Tonetta Carlisle [left] went missing from Chattanooga in 1989; Tonetta's photo is shown age-progressed to 45 years [right].

Tonetta Carlisle was last seen being forced into a vehicle in Chattanooga on March 16, 1989.

Photo by: NCMEC


By: Crimefeed Contributor

Authorities say Tonetta Carlisle was 15-years-old when she disappeared while walking home from her Chattanooga high school. On March 16, 1989, around 3 p.m., News 9 reports Tonetta was last seen being forced into a vehicle before she vanished. Her family isn’t giving up hope on finding out what happened to their loved one.

The Hamilton County District Attorney's Office reopened the case in 2019 and reportedly "centered in on convicted rapist Jeffrey Jones." Jones took his own life two days after Tonetta vanished.

Tonetta's family has been active in the search to find her, even taking News 9 to the exact spot where Tonetta was last seen. Although the area looks different now, Nonie Sturdivant, Tonetta's mother, told the news station she knew her teen daughter at the time had to walk up a hill to make it back to her house.

As for the kind of person his sister was, Tonetta’s brother Darrell Stewart said, "She had a good sense of humor, you know, she liked to see people laugh.”

Stewart added, "You see stuff like this in movies and you hear about it, you don't think it will hit home. We really want to encourage everyone through our little sister, with school starting, to be careful. The parents, network with each other, try not to have your child walking by herself."

News 9 reports a woman and her husband saw "several people jump out of a tan and yellow car." The vehicle had Tennessee tag: LKH-920. The couple reportedly said they saw the person they believe to be Tonetta being pulled inside the awaiting car.

Although the couple reportedly called police, and so did Tonetta’s mom to file a missing persons report, the two incidents weren’t automatically linked.

When Tonetta went missing she stood 5 feet 1 inches tall and weighed 95 pounds. She is a Black female who was last seen wearing a pink and white striped blouse, jean skirt, and white sneakers. She was born on August 28, 1975.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) created an age enhancement of what Tonetta may look like as a 45-year-old woman. NCMEC added that foul play is suspected in this case.

If you know anything about Tonetta's case, please contact the Chattanooga Police directly: 423-698-2525. You can also reach out to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (TBI): 1-800-TBI-FIND.

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