The Search for Diamond and Tienda
10 year old Tienda and 3 year old Diamond Bradley vanished on the morning of June 6, 2001. They were last seen inside their apartment. Tracey Bradley, their mother, told police she last saw her two daughters around six a.m. before leaving for work. When she returned to the apartment in the early afternoon, she discovered a note allegedly written by Tionda, stating that they had gone to the store.
Tienda was expected to attend a summer school programme, but she was absent that day. Many neighbourhood kids said they saw the girls playing outside their house at noon but didn’t see them again that day. Tracey allegedly stated that she and George were planning to take the girls camping that day, but this remained suspect.
Diamond and Tienda Disappeared
After the girls vanished, police launched one of the largest manhunts in Chicago history, searching open fields, railroad cars, and 5,000 abandoned buildings. It mostly yielded no results. Tracey discovered later that Tionda had left her a voicemail at 9:30 am on the day the girls vanished, saying, “Mama, this is Tienda. Take the phone, Mom. At the door is George. Can I get the door opened? He stated that we would be picking up the cake from Jewel’s. You will be picked up from work by us.
This message could be directed at George Washington, who Tracey and Diamond’s father had a romantic relationship with, or at a neighbour and close friend of Tracey who occasionally babysat the kids and who they were very familiar with. Nobody knows which George answered the door. Their aunt and about ten other family members heard the voice mail message, which “mysteriously” disappeared after being heard.
What happened to it?
Regional, state, and federal law enforcement agencies worked on the case, but nothing was ever found. Tracey Bradley had reportedly been reticent to cooperate, but she had taken a polygraph examination and was not a suspect. The girls are allegedly dead or have left the country. Tienda would turn 29 this year, and Diamond would turn 22. The family has continued to publish age-progressed images over the years to show how the sisters would appear today.
There are recently created renderings of the sisters’ potential modern appearances. A private investigator believed Tionda Bradley was depicted in a mysterious Internet photo that appeared on a MySpace profile in 2008, but that conclusion was later disproved. Then, a Texas woman identified herself as Tionda Bradley last year, but Bradley’s distraught family quickly learned that the woman was lying. The girls’ mother’s phone number has changed, and she has long since left the Bronzeville neighbourhood where the girls were last seen.
Shelia Bradley-Smith, the great aunt of the sisters, claimed that years ago she contacted the family who currently has their current phone number to inform them of the girls in case Tionda ever contacted her. As for the disappearance of her nieces… “Tracey knows that I love her with all of my heart, but I have to say what I think.” What does she think, then? She simply knows that certain things bother her. For instance, Tracey and George mentioned a camping trip they were going on with the two girls.
“Never in my life have I listened to anything about camping from them,” Bradley Smith said.“Very unusual.”She’s asked about reports that George Washington was found with a receipt for gloves, bleach, and garbage bags that he bought at a Home Depot.”Very suspicious,” she said. The final reported sighting of the girls by an adult other than Tracey and George was their grandmother, who tells she saw them the day before, during the afternoon. Bradley Smith said she doubts something may have happened to the girls that night.
She’s played every possible scenario in her head, always coming up empty. Otherwise, if she knew, “we wouldn’t be having this discussion,” she said. When asked what she thinks happened, Bradley Smith offered a piece of information that hasn’t been made public before.“Our family, with our cell phones, we have a family plan. One of the family members, the records said their cell phone had no activity from 2 a.m. until 2 p.m.The day Tionda and Diamond went missing. Now I realize the only way there would be no activity is you’re out of range during that time. Roaming.”She didn’t name the family member or say where she thinks they went. The cell phone record, maddeningly blank, just gnaws at her