Missing Phoenix girl found alive nearly 24 years later

PHOENIX, Ariz. – A Phoenix girl missing since 1994 has been found.

Aleacia Stancil disappeared without a trace nearly 24 years ago, leaving police with few clues. That is, until her age progression photo was recognized clear across the country.

Recently obtained police documents are shedding light on this case.

Her mother, Toni Stancil, had a hard life. After leaving the Air Force, she struggled with drug use and turned to prostitution, according to KPHO/KTVK.

One night in December of 1994, Toni gave her 9-month-old daughter Aleacia to a friend, saying she needed a few days to “clear her head.”

The child was passed from person to person until she ended up with police, her identity unknown.

When Toni came back two days later, the baby was gone.

She went to jail soon after and didn’t report Aleacia missing until March of 1995.

By then the little girl was under the care of Child Protective Services, but the information was never connected.

Toni was found murdered that same year.

“Without that one and only witness, I’m very limited in how to proceed with the investigation,” said Det. William Andersen with the Phoenix Police Missing Persons Unit in a 2013 interview.

Fast forward to 2014. A young woman in Connecticut showed up at a hospital. She had no ID and did not know much about herself.

The nurse found it suspicious and looked online for missing people. She came across an age progression photo of Aleacia and called police.

Police took her DNA for testing. Three years later, the tests came back a match.

Aleacia had been adopted, and now goes by a different name.

Her grandmother, Frances Ford, who now lives in Georgia, says Aleacia wishes to stay out of the spotlight.

She says the two were able to meet in person. From that meeting, she deduced Alecia’s life has been complicated and confusing. Ford wishes to one day have a relationship with her.

“I would want the world to know that these are the things that can happen to kids, and not every story is not a happily-ever-after, and it doesn’t mean that they came from someone who didn’t want them or didn’t care,” said Ford.