Sunny Sramek lived in rural Trenton, Nebraska with her mom Paula Johnson. One spring morning, Sunny told Paula that she was going on a short road trip and would be back later that night. Paula kissed her only daughter goodbye, unaware that it was the last time she would ever see her.

Sunny Went on a Road Trip and Never Returned

On April 20, 2019, Sunny told Paula that she was going to Omaha, Nebraska with 46-year-old Floyd Clifford Coates Jr. to pick up his niece. Floyd asked Sunny to accompany him on the four-hour drive to give him some company and told her that his niece was her age. Some reports state that Floyd was a family friend while others say he was an acquaintance of Sunny’s.

Sunny did not have a cellphone but she borrowed one from someone in Holdrege, Nebraska (only an hour into the trip) and called her mom at 12:45 pm to check in. Paula later told news reporters she didn’t notice any signs of distress in Sunny’s voice and that everything appeared to be okay.

The next call Paula received was from Floyd several hours later and what he told her was every parent’s worst nightmare. Floyd claimed that they went to the Prairie Flower Casino in Iowa (just past Omaha) sometime between 9 pm and 12 am. He said he gambled while Sunny waited in the car because she was underage, and that when he returned, she was gone.

Floyd admitted that instead of calling the police to report Sunny missing, he took off without her. When Paula pressed Floyd for more details, he hung up. Frantic, Paula called Floyd several times but he refused to answer, at which point she called the police and reported her daughter missing.

The Suspect Gave Conflicting Stories

Floyd fled in his 2004 white Ford Explorer and he managed to evade the authorities for over a month. He was finally located on May 31, 2019, but he gave the police a different story. Floyd claimed that he pulled into a gas station in Omaha and went inside the store to pay while Sunny waited in the car. Floyd said that when he returned, Sunny was gone, so he took off.

It was soon revealed that the niece Floyd was supposed to pick up in Omaha didn’t even exist. It was likely all a ruse to get Sunny alone.

The FBI got involved in the investigation and began searching for Sunny but were unable to find her. Surveillance footage from the Prairie Flower Casino and the unnamed gas station proved they were never even there. In fact, investigators claim that Sunny likely never even made it to Omaha.

Floyd Clifford Coates Jr.

Floyd has a lengthy criminal record in Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas for various offenses including forcible confinement, assault, battery, possession of a de*adly weapon, theft, and drug charges and he has been in and out of prison since 2002. Despite the inconsistencies in his story, he has never been charged in connection with Sunny’s disappearance.

The Search for Sunny Continues 4 Years Later

Sunny was described as a creative soul who loved to draw and dance ever since she was a little girl. Her parents were divorced but she often visited her father Jody Sramek who lived across town. Sunny dropped out of high school due to bullying but she was working towards her GED.

Sunny married 25-year-old Kaleb Straub when she was just 17 years old but they separated three months before she disappeared. Kaleb is a convicted felon but he was in jail when Sunny vanished and he is not a suspect.

Paula and Jody insist that Sunny always kept in contact and would not have abandoned her family. They fear that she was likely met with foul play.

Sunny was last seen wearing a black tank top and denim shorts. She has a tattoo of a feather with the word “Fly” on her left shoulder and a tribal sun on her right ankle. Her last confirmed location was in Holdrege, Nebraska.

If you have any information, contact the FBI at (402)-493-8688, Hitchcock County Sheriff’s Office at (308)-334-5444,

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