Home » Sonya Tukes, 22: Went To Bed & Disappeared By Morning In 2004
Often, supporters of OurBlackGirls will send over cases that have occurred in their hometowns, and someone did just that when they asked if I could feature Sonya Tukes. There has been minimal news coverage about her case over the years, and the last detailed report I could find came courtesy of Georgia’s WMGT 41 News from 2016. The outlet spoke with the 22-year-old’s family as they mapped out Sonya’s last steps and speculated as to how she could have vanished in the middle of the night in 2004 without a trace.
Sonya Tukes was described as a young lady who had a life filled with promise. She was a mother, worked as a babysitter, and had a boyfriend when she went missing. Her sister, Barbara, said that Sonya was a “hard worker” who “loved her child,” but investigators claimed that her relationship with her boyfriend was contentious. Just prior to Sonya going missing, she and her boyfriend reportedly had an argument, however, the nature of that disagreement hasn’t been shared publicly.
Sonya was said to have been staying at her sister’s trailer home in Tennille, Georgia when she disappeared sometime between the evening hours of May 9 and the morning hours of May 10. Barbara stated that she saw her sister before Sonya said she was going to bed around 10:00 p.m. “She went in one room and I went in my room,” Barbara told reporters. However, when relatives awoke at 5:00 a.m. the next day, Sonya Tukes was gone and there was no indication that a break-in occurred.
“When they woke up that morning, she was gone and there’s no answers, there’s no clues,” Capt. Trey Burgamy, an investigator with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, said. “There was no signs of forced entry to the residence. The back door was just open when they woke up the next morning… We searched. We did everything we possibly could. We took every lead, phone call, took everything we could at that time and nothing ever surfaced.”
He continued, “When it’s crimes against a person like this, like a missing person, you take it personal because what if this was your family member.”
Detectives got a lead when they checked phone records and found that Sonya may have received a call at Barbara’s house on the evening that she disappeared. While this information was helpful, the call came from a payphone at a service station that was said to be outside of town, so it was almost impossible to figure out who Sonya Tukes spoke with that night. The exact location was not given and it is unclear if the service station has surveillance footage that could be checked.
“My guess is when she got that phone call, she went out to talk, she was going to come back in, but never did come back in the house,” Barbara said.
Meanwhile, Barbara also spoke about Sonya’s relationship with her boyfriend, a man who has not been named in reports. Before investigators were able to question him about Sonya’s disappearance, he reportedly lawyered up. He denied knowing anything about the disappearance, but not much else was given.
“I felt like she had built the strength up to get ready to leave him and then that happened,” Barbara said. “If anything, I just want to know, I would forgive that person. God wouldn’t want me to have hate, you know what I’m saying, I just want to know.” Sonya’s mother, Susan, added: “I’m the type of person now that because of all of this, I like to be by myself. I can’t take it. I’m going through so much. I can’t take this. I can’t.”
Foul play is suspected in her case. It is unclear if anyone has been named as a person of interest or suspect. WMGT News reported that in 2016, they did reach out to Sonya’s then-boyfriend for a statement but the request went unanswered.
At the time of her disappearance, Sonya Tukes stood 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 178 pounds. She had black/dark brown hair and brown eyes. Any distinguishing marks are unknown, but it was reported that she was last seen wearing a black t-shirt, green pants, and black flip-flops. Her middle name is “Lawona.” She would be 40-years-old at the time of this publication.
Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at (478) 552-4795, Georgia Bureau of Investigation – Headquarters Medical Examiner
(404) 270-8210, or their local authorities. There was not an agency case number listed with any report.
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