Born on December 27, 1979, Toni Lee Sharpless grew up in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. But, at the young age of 6, she tragically lost her father in an accident.
Then, during young adulthood, Toni encountered more challenges in her personal life.
She was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which ultimately led Toni to struggle with alcohol and drug abuse. And at 17 years old, she welcomed her first child– a baby girl– into the world and raised her daughter as a single mom.
During the early 2000s, Toni then began working as a nursing assistant on the weekends at a nearby rehabilitation center. She used her income to pay for her tuition after enrolling at the Brandywine School of Nursing.
And by 2007, Toni had graduated from Immaculata University with her nursing degree and began working at Lancaster General Hospital in the infectious disease ward.
In 2008, however, things took a tragic turn again. That year, Toni was arrested and convicted of driving while under the influence. So, she spent the month of April 2009 in rehab.
Still, following years of challenges, Toni appeared to be under control afterward. She found a treatment regime that worked for her, and her life was back on track.
Yet, while living with her 12-year-old daughter at her mom and stepdad’s home in August 2009, Toni strangely vanished.
It all began on the morning of Sunday, August 22, when Toni worked a 12-hour shift at Lancaster General Hospital. Then, that night, Toni left her home at about 9:30 p.m. with plans to spend the night with her longtime friend, Crystal, in Center City, Philadelphia.