Left: Sanders in 1986; Right: Age-progressed sketch of Sanders at age 19 (circa 2003)
Bonita Karen Sanders
Missing since September 14, 1986 from Atlantic City, Atlantic County, New Jersey.
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Circumstances of Disappearance
On September 14, 1986, Sanders was strapped in her stroller, sucking a Popsicle on her mother's porch on the 900 block of Baltic Avenue in Atlantic City. Inside, her mother, Bonita Sanders, cooked dinner as her other children played in a nearby lot. Minutes later, between 18.00 and 19.00, Bonita Sanders later told police, she looked outside and the stroller was empty. She said she searched, but to no avail.
Sanders's father was immediately eliminated as a suspect. At 20, Bonita Sanders allegedly walked out of a hospital and abandoned Sanders when she was born. A month after Sanders' disappearance, she abandoned a baby boy months after pretending to her boyfriend that she'd had an abortion.
In January 1987, she was sentenced to nine months in jail for endangering the welfare of a child; her three children were placed in other homes. At sentencing, a prosecutor said Sanders lied during their investigation into Bonita's disappearance, changed stories, provided false leads and never inquired about the investigation. Sanders' father was seeking custody of her when she disappeared.
If you have any information concerning Sanders' whereabouts, please contact:
Atlantic City Prosecutor's Office
Major Crime Squad
You may remain anonymous when submitting information.
Agency Case Number: 114-86
NCMEC #: 601887
Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.
The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children