Skip to main content

"Someone lured her away." Where is Joniah Walker?


Two years after Joniah Walker was last seen in a home security video leaving her home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on June 23, 2022, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is releasing a new image to help find her.  

Joniah’s family believes she was lured online and could be anywhere today. 

Joniah was 15 when she went missing. A NCMEC forensic artist age progressed Joniah to what she may look like at 17. (Credit: NCMEC)

Joniah’s mom, Tanesha Howard, says the last time she saw Joniah was a regular Thursday morning. “Joniah was lying in bed because she had just finished school. I went in to give her a hug before leaving for work.”

Throughout the day, Joniah and Tanesha spoke a few times on the phone, but by the afternoon, Joniah suddenly stopped responding. This sudden silence was out of character and immediately raised red flags.  

Joniah was supposed to meet her dad outside of their apartment complex at around 3:30 p.m. to get a work permit for a summer job.

“He called me and said that Joniah wasn’t picking up her phone,” explained Tanesha. “That is when I immediately knew something was wrong. I left work right away.” 

A neighbor's Ring camera shows Joniah leaving the complex around 2:30 p.m. that afternoon, carrying a large green backpack. That is the last known sighting of Joniah.   

joniah wearing jeans and tee shirt on security footage

Joniah was last seen leaving her home on camera. (Credit: Milwaukee Police Department) 

Joniah has never run away before and Tanesha says it is extremely unlike her to be away from home this long without contacting anyone. She strongly believes Joniah left home to meet with someone she may have met online. 

“Somebody stole her...that was my first instinct,” said Tanesha. “But when I saw that she left with a big backpack that I had never seen, that's when I knew. I was like, someone lured her away.” 

two pictures of Joniah

Photos of Joniah. (Credit: Tanesha Howard)

Tanesha and Joniah share a very close relationship, and she says Joniah would never leave like this on her own. “She is my youngest daughter, so I always call her by ‘baby girl’ because that is exactly who she is, my baby girl,” said Tanesha. “She is what I would describe as a perfect daughter. She is angelic, soft spoken and very intelligent.” 

Joniah with her mom

Photos of Joniah and her mother, Tanesha Howard. (Credit: Tanesha Howard)

Since Joniah’s disappearance, Tanesha has worked to raise awareness for missing and murdered Black women and girls. She recently helped support a bipartisan bill to create a task force dedicated to serving these communities in her home state of Wisconsin. 

These past two years have been devastating for Tanesha, but she holds on to hope that Joniah is out there. “No matter what, I always look for her, every moment I get. She is my daughter.”  

If you have any information on Joniah’s disappearance, please contact NCMEC at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or the Milwaukee Police Department (Wisconsin) at 1-414-933-4444. 

You can view Joniah’s missing poster here: