Third-grade City Springs Elementary student Toya Hill had finished a day of school and was playing outside in the courtyard of her Baltimore, Maryland apartment. She lived with her mother, Annette Stanley, and her three siblings. Annette told Toya that she could spend some time with her friends, but later, the single mother had to go to work. While she was gone, Toya told her siblings that she planned on going to the store just two blocks away to buy some candy. The eight-year-old wasn’t allowed to walk anywhere by herself, but she told her siblings she would do it anyway.
According to reports, On March 24, 1982, Toya Hill was spotted at the store speaking with two men, one who just happened to be her mother’s ex-boyfriend. The little girl didn’t return home that evening and soon, upwards of 150 people were reportedly canvassing the neighborhood looking for Toya. Eventually, the ex-boyfriend and the other man who saw Toya at the store were questioned, but they both insisted they didn’t know where Toya was and had nothing to do with her disappearance. Both men were cleared as suspects in the case.
Toya Hill hasn’t been seen or heard from since that fateful day.
We’re fast approaching the 38th anniversary of Toya’s disappearance and in an interview conducted in 2011, Annette told The Baltimore Sun that she still holds out hope that her daughter is somewhere alive and well. “Really, I’m still at the same place I was at before,” Annette said nine years ago. “That’s the problem: You don’t have any answers.”
“I took everything, all her things she had, little drawings she did,” she added. “I keep them in a box in my closet.”
Interestingly, Toya disappeared just three days before her mother was supposed to be married. Annette was convinced that her ex-boyfriend kidnapped Toya in an effort to keep her from walking down the aisle with her new man. The publication states that Annette continuously asked her ex about Toya, but he never wavered from his story and said he had nothing to do with the little girl’s disappearance.
Annette didn’t change her wedding date and married with hopes that by moving forward as scheduled, her ex would return Toya. That didn’t happen and eventually, she divorced her husband only to reignite a romance with the ex-boyfriend because she still believed he was responsible for Toya going missing. The two were married, but when no new information about Toya surfaced, she left him several months later. He’s reportedly passed away.
“That was the reason for the marriage — I thought maybe he would give her back to me,” she said. “At the time, I would have done anything as a mother to get answers.” Stanley added, “I will always believe she is alive, but some part of me says, ‘She’s that old, how come she hasn’t tried to find you?'”
At the time of her disappearance, Toya was eight-years-old, 4 feet tall, and 80 pounds. She had black/dark brown hair and brown eyes. She wore prescription glasses and had a deep dimple on the left cheek. Toya would be 46-years-old at the time of this publication.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Baltimore Police Department at (410) 396-2284 or their local authorities.
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