Woman claims to be Diamond Bradley from 22-year-old case, great aunt says

With 12 previous hoaxes and false alarms, the Bradley sisters’ great aunt, Sheliah Bradley-Smith, said she’s waiting on DNA tests for confirmation.

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A photo made in 2021 of what Diamond and Tionda Bradley may look like now. The sisters went missing from a South Side home in 2001.

A photo made in 2021 of what Diamond and Tionda Bradley may look like now. The sisters went missing from a South Side home in 2001.

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

A woman has come forward claiming to be Diamond Bradley, one of two sisters who went missing from a South Side home in 2001, the girls’ great aunt, Sheliah Bradley-Smith, said.

Diamond was 3 and Tionda was 10 when they disappeared from their apartment near 35th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue more than 20 years ago.

Bradley-Smith said she woke up to 14 missed calls from her son before 6 a.m. Wednesday, as well as calls from an unknown number.

When she called her son back, he told her a woman had reached out to him on Instagram claiming to be Diamond, who would now be 25. He got the two in contact.

Her first response: “Go to the damn police.”

“We’ve been hoaxed before,” Bradley-Smith said.

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Diamond Bradley

FBI

But when the woman responded politely, Bradley-Smith said she became hopeful, despite having “up and down” emotions about yet another person claiming to be one of the sisters.

The same day, the woman spent two hours at a police station and later went to the FBI to get DNA testing done to confirm whether she is Diamond. Bradley-Smith said an FBI agent told her the results could take from two and 14 days.

The FBI didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“I’m shocked she stepped up and took the initiative to go to the FBI,” Bradley-Smith said. “Either something has to mentally be going on, or that someone truly believes they’re that person.”

Bradley-Smith said the woman didn’t offer any explanation as to why she thought she was Diamond, though Bradley-Smith said it “wasn’t her place” to ask questions given the FBI was investigating.

The family has had 12 people reach out claiming to be one of the sisters, and each has been disproven through investigations, a private investigator or the family’s own online sleuthing, Bradley-Smith said.

New age progressed photos of the sisters were released by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in 2021 on the 20th anniversary of their disappearance. The FBI’s website lists a reward of up to $10,000 for information relating to the girls’ whereabouts.

If anyone has information about the disappearance of the Bradley sisters, contact the Chicago Police Department at (312) 747-5789, the FBI Illinois at (312) 421-6700 or the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1 (800) THE-LOST.

“It’s a lot of erratic emotions,” Bradley-Smith said. “I’m hoping that it is [her].”

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