Overview of Teekah Lewis
A toddler goes missing from a Tacoma, Washington bowling alley in 1999. Teekah Lewis would be turning 23 this month—was she taken by a serial offender?
Teekah Lewis was only two years old when she vanished from the New Frontier Lanes Bowling Alley in Tacoma, Washington while out with her family on January 23, 1999. The month before her abduction, a six-year-old boy was nearly taken from the same bowling alley, and a young boy was molested in the restroom the previous December. Could the same person be responsible for Teekah’s kidnapping?
The day Teekah went missing.
On the evening of January 23, 1999, Teekah Lewis was with multiple family members at the New Frontier Lanes Bowling Alley. The bowling alley was particularly busy that night because it was league night. Teekah’s family was positioned near the center of lanes—occupying lanes 7 and 8. With multiple kids around, family members were taking turns keeping an eye on Teekah and others who kept wandering back and forth from the bowling alley’s arcade area.
Teekah was drawn to the claw game and with the help of her uncle, she won a Teddy bear which she kindly gave to her younger 10-month-old sister that night. Teekah returned multiple times to the arcade using coins she had in her purse which she got bought with some recent Christmas money.
When she was discovered missing.
By 10 pm, Teekah had vanished. A 15-hour extensive search ensued, leaving limited clues about where Teekah went. However, a witness would come forward and tell authorities that an unidentified individual in a maroon Pontiac Grand Am sped out of the parking lot around the same time it was discovered the Teekah was missing. The car was described as possibly a 4- door, late 1980 or early 1990s model with dark tinted windows and a large spoiler. One witness recalled that a white man, in his thirties with shoulder-length brown hair, facial pockmarks, a mustache, and a large nose was following a child near the exit that night.
As mentioned before, two months prior to Teekah's disappearance, a four-year-old boy was sexually molested in the bathroom of the New Frontier Lanes Bowling Alley. A security guard claims they saw this individual in the bowling alley previously and assumed it was the boy's father. However, earlier that day, an unidentified man attempted to abduct two children from a local park roughly only a mile away from the bowling alley. The children’s father chased this unidentified individual away but reported that he was driving a blue 1995 Pontiac Grand Am. He only reported the incident three days after it happened when he learned of Teekah’s case being circulated in the local media. Was the color of the car mistaken, and was this the same person who took Teekah?
On January 26, search dogs led investigators to a pile of men's clothing stashed underneath a bush across the street from the bowling alley where Teekah was taken. Law enforcement believed that the clothing had not been there for long, and described the items with either "IS" or "JS" written on the back label, but they couldn’t tie it directly to her case. Over the next several years, an extensive search would be organized, and annual vigils held to bring awareness to her case. Teekah’s family would even go on to work with legislators to pass “Teekah’s Bill” legislation that created a multi-agency task force within the Washington State Patrol, responsible for accompanying local and regional law enforcement when dealing with reports of both missing and exploited children.
Where the case stands today.
A potential break in 2001 happened when the body of an unidentified four-year-old girl was found in St. Louis. Authorities referred to her as ‘Precious Doe,’ and Teekah’s DNA was tested as a potential match—but it was not, unfortunately. Teekah’s case remains unsolved, and no arrests have been made.
Could these cases be connected? Is this unknown suspect still harming children?
On December 1, 2022, A a press conference, Tacoma Police and Teekah's family released a new face progression portrait of Teekah, who would now be 26 years old.
Were you in the Tacoma area in January 1999 and recall seeing a blue or maroon 1995 Pontiac Grand Am?
If you have any information regarding Teekah’s disappearance, please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.