Toni Lee Sharpless

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Above Images: Sharpless, circa 2009

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: August 23, 2009 from Gladwyne, Pennsylvania
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: December 27, 1979
  • Age: 29 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'5, 135 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, blue/gray eyes. Sharpless's hair was dyed red at the time of her disappearance.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A turquoise shirt, black tights, black sandals and turquoise earrings.
  • Medical Conditions: Sharpless suffers from bipolar disorder. She had been stable for years prior to her disappearance, but still needs to take daily medication to control her condition, and she may not have been taking it regularly. She may have had a manic episode on the night of her disappearance.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Sharpless was last seen in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania at 4:45 a.m. on August 23, 2009. She left her home in West Brandywine Township, Pennsylvania to go out with a friend, Crystal Johns, that night. They originally went to the Ice Nightclub, then to a house party in the 1300 block of Bobarn Drive. At 3:00 a.m., Sharpless sent a text message to her twelve-year-old daughter. She later caused a disturbance at the party when she got angry with another guest and poured a bottle of champagne on the floor. She and Johns were asked to leave.

    Both women had been drinking alcohol that evening, something Sharpless was not supposed to do because of the medication she was taking, and Sharpless had reportedly been awake for approximately 36 hours. She was angry and crying when she left the party with Johns. They had only driven a few blocks when they got into an argument because Johns didn't believe Sharpless was sober enough to drive. (Sharpless has a 2008 conviction for driving under the influence.) Sharpless stopped the car and demanded her friend get out, so Johns exited the vehicle and then Sharpless drove away. Johns initially assumed she would return. When she didn't come back, Johns had a relative come and pick her up instead. Sharpless has never been heard from again.

    Sharpless was driving her black four-door 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix GT with tinted windows and the Pennsylvania license plate number DND7772 at the time of her disappearance. It has never been located. A photo of a similar vehicle is posted below this case summary. Someone ran the license plate number in Camden, New Jersey on September 8, two weeks after Sharpless disappeared. By the time Pennsylvania police were notified of this, several days had passed and they were unable to locate the car. Sharpless's cellular phone also remains missing and has been turned off since approximately 4:00 a.m. the day she disappeared.

    According to Johns, Sharpless was low on gas, and it's possible she ran out of gas or turned in another direction to go get some. There were clusters of sightings of her reported in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Camden, New Jersey after her disappearance. All of them took place in areas known for their prostitution and drug activity. None of the sightings have been confirmed. A private detective hired by Sharpless's family believes she may have be alive and may have gotten involved with drugs and the sex trade. She had had a drug problem in the past. Johns isn't considered a suspect in her disappearance, and neither is anyone else at the party Sharpless attended that night.

    Since Sharpless's disappearance, there has been no activity on her bank accounts or credit cards. She is a single mother and lived with her mother and stepfather at the time of her disappearance, and worked as an infectious disease nurse at Lancaster General Hospital. She graduated from the nursing program at Immaculata University in 2007. It's uncharacteristic of Sharpless to leave without warning and she is described as a devoted parent who wouldn't have abandoned her child. Her case remains unsolved.

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    Above: 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    West Brandywine Police Department
    610-380-8201

    OR
    Lower Merion Township Police Department
    610-649-1000

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    Source Information
    Pennsylvania Missing Persons
    The Pottstown Mercury
    The Philadelphia News
    KYW NewsRadio 1060
    The Lancaster Intelligencer Journal
    MyFox Philadelphia
    The Chester County Daily Local News
    Help Find Toni Lee Sharpless
    NamUs
    Investigation Discovery: Disappeared

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    Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated January 6, 2012; picture added.

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