Durham family, police ask for help locating missing woman

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Durham police need the public’s help in finding Tonita Brooks. The 45-year-old’s family says she’s been missing for months.

Tonita’s loved ones say she’s a free spirit but still keeps in touch regularly with her children and many relatives.

“She’s a sweetheart. She is. She’ll meet you and you’ll think you knew her forever,” said her brother Lewis Brooks.

By choice, Tonita stays at the shelter in Durham and different homes. She visits with her siblings regularly and they often see her walking down Holloway Street during the day.

Their family started to panic when they realized no one had seen or heard from her in weeks. Her brothers have been going to all her usual spots asking for her.

“I kept getting the same answer. ‘We haven’t seen her in two months, in three months,’ you know, and I’m like, ‘OK,'” said her brother Michael Brooks.

They filed a missing person’s report last week.

Police said Tonita’s 5-foot-2 and 110 pounds.

“I don’t think she has a vicious bone in her body,” said Michael Brooks.

Although she’s 45 years old, her brothers say she has the mind frame of a preteen.

“She would recognize danger, but she wouldn’t know how close she actually is to being hurt,” said Michael Brooks.

They say she’s never disappeared like this before. Tonita has three kids who are in her brother’s custody.

“I’m worried. It’s kind of eating at me. I’m not sleeping well,” said Michael Brooks.

Especially as the holidays approach, the Brooks brothers said their sister would never miss her spot at the table.

“I’ve been thinking about the worst, but I’m praying it’s not because I don’t understand why. I know if she was around and knew we were looking for her, she wouldn’t put us through that,” said Lewis Brooks.

They’re asking anyone with information on her whereabouts to call police, and if you see her, tell her to contact her family.

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