http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20090909_Friends_plan_Friday_search_for_missing_woman.htmlFriends plan Friday search for missing woman
By Peter Mucha
Posted on Wed, Sep. 9, 2009
Inquirer Staff Writer
Friends and family of Toni Lee Sharpless, still anguishing over the West Brandywine Township mother's disappearance, plan to conduct their own search for her on Friday morning.
They'll check routes the nurse might have taken after reportedly driving away from a party at a Sixers' player's house in Penn-Valley around 3 a.m. on Aug. 23.
Loved ones, including her parents and her 12-year-old daughter, have not heard from Sharpless since that night.
The case has touched many people. Last night, CNN's Nancy Grace weighed in. Monday night, more than 60 people turned out for a candlelight vigil at Thorndale United Methodist Church.
"She would not run away. Something happened. Something had to go wrong," said Jennifer Slotwinski, one of a group of nursing-school friends helping organizing the search.
They'll meet in the parking lot at Brandwine Nursing School in Coatesville at 9 a.m., then head for where Sharpless was supposedly last seen - the corner of Hagys Ford Road and Bobarn Drive in Lower Merion Township.
That's where a friend got out of Sharpless' black 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix, following an argument that Sharpless was too intoxicated to drive, according to Lower Merion police three days later.
The friend, Crystal Johns of Coatesville, was also the first person to report Sharpless missing, shortly before 9 that night, according to Chief Walt Werner of West Brandywine police.
The Pontiac has Pennsylvania tags, DND-7772.
About the time that Johns left the car, the daughter, who'd been having trouble sleeping, got a text message that Sharpless was coming home.
Record checks showed no further activity on her phone or credit cards, police said.
Sharpless and her daughter lived with her parents, Donna and Peter Knebel.
Last night, he told CNN's Nancy Grace that the police haven't shared much information.
"Basically, all the information I get is from the news media," he said.
"That's terrible. That's awful," she said.
People feel the search is needed because they're dissatisfied with the police investigation, Slotwinski said.
Where Sharpless might have headed, no one can be sure, she said.
She might have gone north on River Road or Route 23, or even headed in another direction, since she needed gas, according to the friend she was with that night, Slotwinski said.
Anyone who wants to help is invited to meet up at the nursing school at 9 a.m. or at the location in Lower Merion, Slotwinski said.
The red-haired, blue-eyed Sharpless, 29, is 5-foot-5 and weighs about 135 pounds.
Lower Merion Police have not returned several phone calls over the last two days.Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Sharpless or her car is asked to call Lower Merion detectives at 610-649-1000 or West Brandywine police at 610-380-8201.