POWHATAN COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – One Powhatan County mother gave an emotional plea at a press conference Wednesday, begging for the community’s help in finding her 16-year-old stepdaughter, Joni Bradley.
“I wasn’t ready for this. I didn’t think this was going to happen,” said Joni Bradley’s stepmother, Kelli Bradley, holding back tears.
Bradley has gone missing in the past, but now she’s been missing for more than two months.
“This is an unusual length of time here in our county for a teenager to go missing,” Powhatan County Sheriff Brad Nunnally told reporters Wednesday.
Sheriff Nunnally said Bradley went to an appointment with her father at the village building in Powhatan on Nov. 9. When she came out of the building, Bradley told her dad she needed to go back in to grab her phone that she left inside. After about four minutes, her dad went inside to find her.
“He went looking for his daughter to see what was taking her so long and realized something’s not right,” Sheriff Nunnally said.
However, the sheriff said surveillance video showed Bradley had already left out the back door of the building by then.
Bradley turned off her phone after leaving the building, and since then, Sheriff Nunnally said she’s been unreachable by phone and hasn’t been on social media.
Sheriff Nunnally said the department has been working with other law enforcement in other counties to try to find Bradley. They have searched in and around homes across Virginia but don’t have any leads.
“It’s been 64 days today without sleeping and eating properly,” Kelli Bradley said crying.
Joni Bradley is described as 5 feet 1 inch tall, about 120 to 135 pounds, with purple and black hair and green eyes. She is also known to change her hair color often. Kelli Bradley said her daughter has a freckle on her right cheek, three freckles on her chest and sometimes wears a nose ring.
Below is the missing person poster for Joni Bradley:
Sheriff Nunnally said they have looked all over Virginia for her.
“She has ties and specifically in our county, Amelia County, Brunswick County, Lunenburg, Blackstone, Petersburg are some of the areas that she’s been known to have friends and associates,” he explained.
Kelli Bradley said Joni loves cooking, art and has been known to try and cook at different kitchens.
Before running away in November, Kelli Bradley said Joni was doing well in mental health treatment, seeing therapists almost every day.
At the press conference Wednesday, she spoke to Joni, hoping she would listen to the message.
“If you’re okay, please come home. Please let me know that you’re okay,” she said.
Kelli Bradley gave a message to Joni from her sister, Bella.
“Joni, I love you so much and I miss you so much. Please let us know you’re safe. My heart hurts,” Bradley said.
Sheriff Nunnally said he hasn’t gotten any information that would point him to feel that she’s in danger, but said, “She’s a 16-year-old female that has not been home in two months and that’s dangerous enough on its own.”
Kelli Bradley hopes anyone who knows anything will help bring her daughter back.
“I really just need the community’s help more than anything,” she said.
The sheriff’s office is asking the public to call investigator Danny Joyner if they’ve seen Joni or know where she might be. Investigator Joyner can be reached at 804-598-5654.