Community unveils statue on 8th anniversary of 1-year-old’s disappearance

Remembering missing baby, Leonna Wright
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 8:51 AM EDT
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ANDERSON, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - A community honored the 8th anniversary of the disappearance of then-1-year-old Leonna Wright with a new statue on Tuesday.

Leonna Wright disappeared on June 6, 2015, from an apartment complex in Pendleton. Her body has still not been found.

Over the past years, both Anderson and Pendleton communities have proclaimed June 6 as Leonna Wright Day of Awareness.

Community activist Traci Fant, along with Sheriff Chad McBride, Loenna’s family, and artist Cory Wonderstone-Owens unveiled a new statue in Leonna’s honor.

Traci Fant has been working with Leonna’s family since she went missing and said she wants to keep her memory alive. “This baby means so much to me. I mean, I never held her. I never got to see her take her first steps. I never got to hear her say her first words, none of that,” Fant said, “The mere fact that the injustice has never been sealed, but her fate was, makes me continue to fight.”

The golden statue of one-year-old Leonna is on permeant display at the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office.

Leonna Wright statue
Leonna Wright statue(FOX Carolina)

“It just hits me. I couldn’t imagine losing a child like that,” sculptor, Corey Wonderstone-Owens said, “This is very similar to a memory and I make memories.”

At the unveiling, Anderson County Sheriff Chad McBride said this case prompted him to make changes to the policies and procedures involving missing children.

“One thing that we did when we came in, we examined this case from start to where we are now, especially from the start. If the child is really missing, what are the protocols if a child were to leave, wonder off, run away, whatever the case may be. Certainly, in Leonna’s case, we don’t believe she went missing. We know that she was murdered and that’s what we believe. As far as a child that wonders off, whether it’s setting perimeters, calling for extra help, manpower, volunteers, or other agencies, we just learned a lot that we were able to put into play for other cases,” Sheriff McBride said.

In 2020, two men were charged in the death of Leonna Wright, but those charges were later dropped. No other charges have been filed.

McBride said he believes two people are involved in her disappearance and thinks others in the community know what happed.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office.

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