WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP/Meredith) -- The mother of five children and seven grandchildren was found killed inside her North Carolina home Tuesday morning, less than 24 hours after a missing person report was filed.
So many questions remain unanswered for the family of Toni Handy, including whether the information her alleged killer, Christopher Mock, was sending them was true or not.
“She didn’t deserve what he did to her, at all,” her daughter Gidget Dunlap said.
Handy was last seen Friday evening leaving work at Murphy Express gas station in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The next afternoon she spoke to Dunlap on the phone, having what would be their last conversation.
“It was my mom, she was saying she was going into work. She would call me when she got off work. She loved me, and then bye,” Dunlap recalled. The conversation lasted around one minute.
That night Dunlap, nor any other family members hear from Handy.
Sunday afternoon, following a string of attempts to call and message her mother, Dunlap received a Facebook message from her mother’s account. However, it was not from her mother, but from her boyfriend Mock.
The message read: “Sorry Gidget, I have your mom’s phone. Mine’s broken, and we’re fishing.”
Dunlap responded with: “Okay, I just haven’t heard from her. Call me when you get back to service.”
Mock: “... I will have her call you when I get back to the truck.”
When night came and went, Dunlap knew something was wrong.
She sent another series of messages to her mother’s Facebook account threatening to call the police unless she heard from her mother.
Monday afternoon, Mock responded, still using Handy’s Facebook.
The message read: “Hey, it’s me again. We went to be tested for [coronavirus]. Your mother tested positive initially, and they came and said it was immediately lockdown. ... She started running her mouth, now they have her quarantined, and me, in holding. We had to fill out all kinds of paperwork.”
Dunlap knew something was wrong and filed a missing persons report with Winston-Salem police.
On Tuesday, authorities found Mock driving Handy's truck through Clemmons. When deputies tried to stop the vehicle, the driver refused, so they pursued him. Four civilians were involved in the crash that ended with a deputy-involved shooting.
Mock was taken to the hospital where he later died.
“I went down there in hopes that maybe she was with him,” Dunlap explained.
Police would later find her mother dead inside her home along Kimball Lane.
Her family has not been allowed inside to remove any of her belongings. Detectives are waiting for an autopsy to determine exactly how she was killed.
“I just want to know why,” Dunlap said.
As they wait for more answers, they are having to plan a funeral with many restrictions.
Not only was coronavirus used to cover up her death, but it has caused financial strains on planning Handy's funeral.
Only a small amount of family will be able to attend as well.
By Daniel Pierce