Houston Army veteran vanished during bike ride 4-years ago, family says they never received media coverage

FOX 26 is dedicated to shining a light on the thousands of people who have vanished from the greater Houston area who have vanished without a trace.

In this edition of "The Missing," FOX 26's Gabby Hart highlights an army veteran who went for a bike ride and never came home. 

Veronda K. Sanders served in the U.S. army as a chef and did a tour in Germany. She was 60 years old when she went for a bike ride through her community in southeast Houston near MLK Blvd. and Bellfort Ave. on October 17, 2018. She never returned home.

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Sanders' family filed a missing person report on October 20, 2018, three days after she vanished. That weekend, Texas EquuSearch helped them comb through parks and areas around the neighborhood but after the search, the family was on their own.

They continued looking every weekend for months. Her family says they received very little help from law enforcement and no TV station would cover it because of Sanders' history of drug use. 

This is their first time speaking out as they've waited four years for this kind of coverage.

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"We haven't anything close to this moment, close to this moment in four years," said Lorinda Roy, a niece of Sanders.  "It's a constant nudge, it's a constant pulling, a constant tugging. On one hand, when you don't think about it you feel bad, but when you do think about it, it's a flood of emotions from anger to hurt, and could something have been done differently," Roy explained. 

Starlet Timmons, another niece of Sanders said, "I feel like once they heard her story, they were like nobody cared."

The only media coverage of Sanders disappearance was a single newspaper article one year later. Her family believes demographics and their aunt's drug habit is the reason why.

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"Everybody has their vice, everybody has a vice, and everybody deserves to be cared for and looked for if they go missing," said a third niece, Yentl Brooks.

The three nieces say they were the closest thing to children Sanders ever had and despite any drug use, their aunt had a routine she stuck to.

"It doesn't matter what her habit is, her routine was off," Roy said.


They say she always made it home. She would never miss an opportunity to celebrate holidays or birthdays with her family. 

Even if it is four years later, they're thankful to finally get to speak about their aunt's disappearance on camera. Their hope is that someone out there knows something.

"She exists, she exists, and she deserves to be remembered, and as long as we have no closure, she'll always exist to us," Roy said. 

Her family hasn't given up hope that she may still be alive somewhere and in need of help.

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Roy also speaks to her aunt, saying, "We will never give up on you, and we will do this until it's our last day, and never give up on the fact that there's a possibility you're out there somewhere."

Anyone with information on what could've happened to Veronda Sanders is asked to contact Houston police at (713) 884-3131 or Crime Stoppers at (713) 521-4600.

You can click here for a look at an official record of long-term missing persons throughout the state of Texas.