Hayward, CA

A Beautiful Mother Disappeared Days Before Her 25th Birthday. Where Is Latoya Thomas?

The Vivid Faces of the Vanished

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Latoya Natasha ThomasThe Charley Project

Latoya Thomas, affectionately called “Toya” by family and friends, was excited about her 25th birthday. On September 30, 2000, she celebrated at her job, Bosley Medical Center, with her co-workers after their shifts ended, reports the East Bay Times.

According to the Charley Project, Latoya left Bosley Medical Center around 9:00 pm.

Latoya was dating a man, Nathan Noel, at the time.

His mother babysat Latoya's four-year-old daughter that evening, reports SF Gate. She and her daughter lived in the Riverside Terrace apartments in Hayward.

A witness saw her get on the freeway and head toward Hayward, California, where she lived.

Shortly after she left, Latoya used an ATM in downtown Hayward.

Surveillance footage photographed her at the ATM, according to the Charley Project.

The manager at her apartment complex, Riverside Terrace, advised he saw Latoya doing laundry that evening, reports the Charley Project.

She allegedly drove out of the complex in the 1700 block of B Street around 10:00 pm the same evening.

Her boyfriend was following her in his car, reports the Charley Project.

Latoya was supposed to pick her up the same evening but never arrived.

Nathan reported Latoya missing three days later when she failed to pick up her daughter, according to the East Bay Times.

On October 5, 2000, her gray 1986 Mazda 626 was located near the Bay Area Rapid Transportation (BART) station.

According to SF Gate, a BART employee located the vehicle around 10:00 pm in the 900 block of B Street.

Her purse and identification were on the front seat of the vehicle, but her keys were missing.

There was no sign of Latoya.

"We're quite concerned for her," said Hayward Police Sgt. Gary Branson, reports SF Gate News. "We think this is very suspicious and out of character for her."

Nathan was immediately considered a suspect in Latoya’s disappearance. He was cooperative and authorities never found any evidence to link him to her case.

Seven years after Latoya vanished, in May 2007, Lea Aikens was found deceased in her apartment in Concord, California, reports the East Bay Times.

She had been shot multiple times, reports the East Bay Times.

Authorities launched a search for the 37-year-old woman’s boyfriend, Nathan Noel.

Police received a tip that Nathan was hiding out in a restaurant in Los Angeles. When officers approached, he fired shots at them with a .45-caliber revolver and was killed by the authorities.

Latoya Thomas has never been found.

“We had no indication he had anything to do with her being a homicide victim,” said Hayward police Lt. Reid Lindblom, reports the East Bay Times. “We couldn’t really establish that it was a homicide. There were no signs of foul play.”

According to Our Black Girls, a woman named Olayinka, the cousin of victim Lea Aikens, released the following statement:

“LaToya is deceased. Her ex who murdered my cousin in 2007 told my cousin before he killed that LaToya went to the store and never came back. She never came back because he was waiting on her which is why her purse was still in the car. Over the years people who knew him said he killed her and a boyfriend and buried them in the Oakland or Hayward hills. My cousin was trying to leave him and he didn’t want her too. He had some serious issues. I even heard he killed his mother because at some point my cousin’s mother had custody of his daughter. Don’t know where or if Ms. Thomas’ relatives were in the picture. There is no allegedly murdered his girlfriend. He murdered them both. Our last name is not Atkins, its Aikens. Lea Enid Aikens.” She added, “People always misspell our last name. Lea was my first cousin and that coward stole her from us. He was evil and suffered from severe abandonment issues, Napoleon complex and God knows what else. He died like the coward he was, and I sincerely hope Toya’s family, wherever they may be- they can rest. The streets talk, and everyone knows what he did. There was just no body to prove it.”

Latoya was 5’2” and weighed 135 pounds when she disappeared.

Please contact the Hayward Police Department at 510-293-7219 with any information.

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