Reporting Steve Miller
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CHICAGO (CBS) — It was on this day 11 years ago that the Tionda and Diamond Bradley disappeared from their South Side home.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports, a lot has changed in 11 years. Tionda Bradley would be 21 now, and Diamond would be 14.
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Their mother has long since moved away from the South Side neighborhood where the girls were last seen, and has changed her phone number.
The sisters’ great aunt, Shelia Bradley-Smith, says several years ago, she got in touch with the family that now has that phone number to let them know about the girls. The purpose was just in case Tionda ever dialed the number that used to be hers.
“Yeah, I contacted them and it was kind of weird calling them,” Bradley-Smith said. “And after I called them they called the police and said, ‘This lady called…’”
But now, she says the family is nicely cooperating.
“They do monitor their phone activity just in case Tionda would call,” she said.
Bradley-Smith said last year that she does not believe the girls are still alive. But she says she is hoping against the impossible that they might be.
Tionda and Diamond were last seen in their apartment complex near 35th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue on July 6, 2001. Their last communication was a note saying they were going to play at a park.
Police launched one of the biggest manhunts in Chicago history after the girls disappeared, searching open fields, railroad cars, and 5,000 abandoned buildings. It mostly turned up nothing.
In 2008, a private detective concluded that a mysterious Internet picture that appeared on a MySpace profile was in, fact Tionda Bradley, but that conclusion later proved incorrect.