BUFFALO, N.Y. — It has been 24 years since a 33-year-old Buffalo mother vanished, leaving three young daughters behind.
"All I remember is going to school that day and she saying, 'Don't worry, I'll be here when you get home.' And I haven't seen her since," said Claudia Cloud-White, who was 10 years old when her mother went missing.
There is an abandoned lot at the corner of Lord and Howard streets in the City of Buffalo. That grass lot used to be the home of Alicia, Claudia, Tynja and their mother, Sonya Renee Cloud Oliver.
That lot now holds the memories of their childhood.
"She was an excellent mom," Alicia Cloud said. "We was her first priority. She didn't care about anything else."
The Cloud sisters went to sleep on the night of September 8, 1995. By the dawn of September 9, their mother was gone.
"I got up. I'm the first person up because I wanted to make sure my sisters were all right, and they got out to there bus on time and was dressed correctly. She wasn't there. She wasn't there," Tynja Cloud said.
Memories of their mother live on in the few pictures they still have. They are cherished memories of what once was. Pictures of small smiling children who are now grown women.
"Did she go to the store? I sat there, and I waited, and I waited, and I waited. My sisters went to school, and I was still here in this house, waiting, and nothing," Tynja said.
The sisters told 2 On Your Side their mothers disappearance did not get much attention back in 1995. They say the Buffalo Police Department's Cold Case Unit is actively investigating the case. They say they are grateful for one detective in particular.
"I thank God for her, because if it wasn't for her, we probably wouldn't even have the strength to stand here today," Tynja said.
The girls have their suspicions about what happened to their mother on that September day, but without confirmation, they say they will continue to search for answers.
"We just need some kind of closure. All we want is some kind of closure," Alicia said.
Tanja added: "We want to lay her to rest if she's gone. If she's not, we want to know she's healthy, and she's OK. I want to go get her, I want to see, I want to hold her. I want to tell her I Iove her. But I can't, I can't even go to a burial site and sit down and talk to her. I have to look up and wonder."
If you have any information about Sonya's disappearance you are asked to contact the Buffalo Police Confidential Tipline at (716) 847-2255.