The FBI is investigating the disappearance of Sunny Sramek, 18, who went missing on April 20 after leaving her Trenton, Nebraska to go on a quick trip with a convicted felon.
Sunny Sramek Missing: 5 Fast Facts You Need to KnowThe FBI has joined the search for missing 18-year-old Sunny Sramek. Sramek was last seen on Saturday, April 20, leaving her home in Trenton, Nebraska to make a quick trip to Omaha. Sramek has not been seen since.
1. Sramek Was Traveling with a 42-Year-Old Man Named Cliff Coates
On April 20, Sramek left Trenton, Nebraska, with a man identified by her family as Cliff Coates, 42. The two were traveling in a 2004 white Ford Explorer with Iowa license plate HGJ 341. Coates has been described by authorities as an acquaintance however, it is unknown how Coates and Sramek knew one another. According to Sramek’s mother, she was accompanying Coates on a trip to pick up his niece in Omaha, approximately 300 miles away.
On the afternoon of April 20, Sramek contacted her mother to say the trip was going fine. Johnson told authorities there was no indication of a problem. “Sunny’s mom last spoke with Sunny earlier that day around 1 pm – Sunny said they were in Holdrege, Nebraska and everything was good,” a post from family member Reni Blome on the Find Sunny Sramek Facebook page explained.
According to Johnson, Coates called to say that between 9 p.m. and midnight he’d stopped at the Prairie Flower Casino, a gaming facility owned by the Ponca Tribe and on tribal land in Carter Lake, Iowa, right outside of Omaha. Coates claimed to have left Sramek in the vehicle. Sramek would not have been allowed in the casino since the minimum age for casino gambling in Iowa is 21. When Coates returned to the car he stated that Sramek was missing.
2. Sramek’s Mother Notified Police the Next MorningThe morning after her daughters disappearance, Johnson filed a missing person report with the Hitchcock County Sheriffs Office. Since the young woman’s disappearance, family and friends have been searching, speaking with people, posting information on social media and distributing fliers, hoping someone will recall spotting her.
3. Coates Has Told Two Very Different Versions of What Happened
Coates initially told Sramek’s mother that he came out of the Prairie Flower Casino, briefly searched for Sramek and then left after he couldn’t find her.
But Blome stated that Coates wound up having an altogether different recollection of events. “He later changes his story and claimed he was at a gas station, ran in to pay for gas and when he came out she was gone,” Blome said in a May 17 Facebook post. Coates could not recall the gas station.
According to Sramek’s mother Paula Johnson, the only consistent aspect of his story was that he left both the casino and the gas station without finding her daughter.
4. Coates Has a Lengthy Criminal HistoryA records check shows that a Floyd Clifford Coates, Jr. has a record of criminal activity in Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska.
In Kansas, he had seven convictions for offenses including the sale and possession of drugs, theft and an attempt to flee or elude police. He also had 25 disciplinary reports for incidents involving battery, lying and having sexually explicit material.
In Nebraska Coates was convicted of false imprisonment, methamphetamine distribution, possession of a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed weapon, assault by a confined person, theft by receiving stolen property and marijuana possession.
5. A Go Fund Me Page Has Been Set up
MEDIA - SUNNY SRAMEK: Missing from Trenton, NE since 20 April 2019 - Age 18