Left: Jones, circa 1995; Right: Age-progression by NCMEC to 16 years
Lenoria E. Jones
Missing since July 20, 1995 from Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington.
Classification: Non Family Abduction
Circumstances of Disappearance
Jones was last seen on July 20, 1995, after stopping at a convenience store and a car wash on the way to a Target store with her great-aunt, Berlean Williams. Williams told investigators that Lenoria disappeared from inside the Target store on South 23rd Street.
Police and prosecutors believed Williams until they saw a videotape taken by the discount department store's security camera. It showed Williams striding into the store alone.
Williams then told authorities someone must have abducted the girl in the store's parking lot. She later claimed two men might have abducted the toddler near her family home. On still another occasion she told police the child was safe, but wouldn't tell them where.
Tacoma police and Pierce County prosecutors never came up with solid information to support any of those accounts. Nor have they come up with enough evidence to charge anyone.
Repeated efforts to get Williams to tell them what really happened failed -- even after she was put under house arrest for four months shortly after Lenoria disappeared. A juvenile court commissioner ordered Williams' confinement after finding her in contempt of a civil order to produce the child or tell where she was. Williams was released after a judge said it hadn't been proved she had that information. Williams' court-appointed attorney insisted she had been truthful with police all along. He blamed Williams' conflicting accounts on badgering by police.
Williams had legal custody of Lenoria for about a year before her disappearance and was in the process of adopting the little girl, who had been in foster care and other out-of-home placement since birth. Lenoria's mother was living in Texas when Lenoria dropped out of sight. But authorities said the girl's parents had lost their parental rights long before then.
Police made repeated checks with Lenoria's relatives, who live in different sections of the country. But they have ruled out a custody dispute as the reason for her disappearance.
Investigators Tacoma Police Department
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Tacoma Police Department
Agency Case Number:
NCMEC #: NCMC806901
NCIC Number: M850932273 Source Information:
Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Washington State Missing Persons
THE SEATTLE TIMES 8/4/95