Angelique Emily James

Angelique, circa 1997; Age-progression to age 20 (circa 2012)

  • Missing Since 02/15/1997
  • Missing From Los Angeles, California
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth 10/02/1992 (26)
  • Age 4 years old
  • Height and Weight 3'6, 40 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics African-American female. Black hair, brown eyes. Angelique has burn scars on the top of one foot. Due to a congential skeletal abnormality, one of her legs and one of her arms is shorter than the other. Angelique has a previous fracture of her left arm that is only visible in an x-ray.

Details of Disappearance

Angelique was reportedly last seen in her family's Los Angeles, California home on February 15, 1997. She has never been heard from again. Angelique's mother, Shirley Ann James, failed to comply when authorities inquired as to her daughter's whereabouts.

Shirley was arrested in November 1997, nine months after Angelique disappeared, when authorities demanded she produce the child and she did not. Angelique's three sisters has already been taken by child protection workers by then. Shirley was charged with Angelique's presumed murder, as well as three counts of child abuse and two counts of corporal injury to a child.

Authorities believed Angelique was killed sometime between December 15, 1996 and March 1, 1997. Shirley has seven other children in addition to Angelique. One of them, a nine-month-old daughter, died in 1992, apparently of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The baby's death was reviewed by homicide investigators after Angelique's disappearance, but no charges were filed.

Shirley pleaded not guilty to all charges in January 1998. Investigators searched the family's yard in an attempt to locate Angelique's remains in late 1997. A cadaver dog initially traced her scent in the area, but the search did not yield evidence related to Angelique's case.

Shirley later pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter in Angelique's case and sentenced to five years in prison, the maximum allowed under the plea agreement. The child's body has never been found.

Some agencies may list September 4, 1997 or March 1997 as the date of Angelique's disappearance.

Updated 7 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated March 18, 2018; details of disappearance updated.