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Bronzeville, Near South Side

Family Of Diamond And Tionda Bradley, Who Went Missing 21 Years Ago, Ask For Public’s Help At Vigil: ‘I Pray Every Day’

The family of the missing girls believe the answers to their disappearance are still out there.

Tracey Bradley (c) pleads with the public to help her find her daughters, Tionda and Diamond Bradley, who disappeared 21 years ago.
Jamie Nesbitt Golden/Block Club Chicago
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GRAND BOULEVARD — It’s been 21 years since Diamond and Tionda Bradley disappeared from their Bronzeville apartment, but their mom has never given up hope.

Tracey Bradley was surrounded by friends and family as she held a vigil Wednesday evening for her missing children at Robert Taylor Park, 39 W. 47th St., not far from where their grandmother once lived. It was the place the girls considered a second home.

After Bradley led the group in song, they released 21 balloons — one for each year Tionda and Diamond have been missing.

The annual vigil keeps the memories of the Bradley sisters alive. It also strengthens the family’s resolve to find answers.

Credit: Jamie Nesbitt Golden/Block Club Chicago
Friends and family hold hands as Tracey Bradley and Rev. Paul Jakes lead them in prayer at a vigil to remember Tionda and Diamond Bradley.

On July 6, 2001, Tionda, 3, and Diamond, 10, left a note for their mother saying they’d gone to a store and a playground nearby. The girls never returned, launching a search that would span decades. The family believes they were taken by someone they knew, casting doubt on the authenticity of the note allegedly written by Tionda in an interview with NBC News last year.

“The person who took the girls was right there beside her — telling her exactly what to write,” Sheliah Bradley, the girls’ great-aunt said. “She was being coached.”

Private Detective Pablo Foster told Block Club that though police and FBI are pursuing more possible leads, the family is still looking for help from those who may have information.

Credit: Jamie Nesbitt Golden
Tracey Bradley (r) poses in front of a portrait of her daughters, Tionda and Diamond, with a friend at the opening of “Still Searching” Oct. 22.

“We continue to have hope that the public gives us the information we need to find out where these girls are and who’s responsible for them being missing. Two children just don’t get up and walk away like that. … We owe this family answers,” said Foster, asking people with information to contact local law enforcement agencies.

The Bradley sisters were featured in a portrait series, “Still Searching,” by Damon Lamar Reed, who also joined the vigil to show his support. Reed has attended the annual event since meeting the Bradley family in 2020.

For Tracey Bradley, it is the outpouring of love and support that keeps her going, and the belief that one day she will be reunited with her daughters.

“I have so many memories of them. It’s been tough not knowing where they are, not being able to touch them, but I pray every day,’ said Bradley. “I pray every day.”

Anyone with information about the Bradley sisters is encouraged to contact the Chicago Police Department at 312-747-5789, FBI Illinois at 312-421-6700 or the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.

Credit: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Age progression images show what Tionda (left) and Diamond Bradley could look like now.

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