Tonya Mosley , podcast, lost sister

NPR Host Tonya Mosley Reveals Discovery Of Long-Lost Sister In Podcast

Mosley documented the journey in her 10-part podcast.

Tonya Mosley, co-host of NPR’s Fresh Air, has undergone a journey of discovery for a sister she never knew existed. She details the story in her new 10-part podcast, She Has A Name.

Mosley was just beginning her career in 2004 when a man named Antonio Wiley called her, as reported by People. Wiley informed Mosley that she was his aunt, and also the sister to his mother who went missing.

Anita Wiley was assumed to be dead after going missing 17 years prior. However, Mosley still set to discover more about her long-lost sister. Her nephew never gave up hope of finding Anita, with Mosley’s support along the way, which lead her to learn more of her estranged father’s family history.

“That phone call opened up a world that I knew at some point I would be connected to,” shared the Detroit native. “[I knew] the day would come when I would receive a call that would give me an understanding of these other parts of myself.”

The two discovered Anita’s complex life as a single mother who fell prey to the crack cocaine epidemic in Detroit. In his unyielding search, he took part in a DNA program to help identify deceased individuals in the city.

In 2020, the program identified the body of Anita. Despite her flaws, Antonio, now able to grieve his mother, looks at Anita through a nuanced lens.

“She was a wonderful mother. But she was human,” explained the 51-year-old. “She became an adult in a changing landscape in which she was trying to provide for her family.”

The discovery was also eye-opening for Moseley, who better understands the holistic life of Anita.

“[My sister] was a leader, she was headstrong, but she also was soft and feminine and loved home and hearth with what little she had,” Mosley said. “You get so caught up in the struggle of addiction that you forget the humanity.”

She emphasized the importance of sharing their journey to finding Anita. Although no longer living, the story of a family’s resilience can help others in similar circumstances.

“These stories like Anita’s need to be told,” shared Mosley. “And we’re using this platform to give a voice to the voiceless and help all those other families who have imprisoned themselves in regret and pain for those loved ones they’ve lost.”

She Has A Name is available to all listeners now.

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