Details of Disappearance
Monique was last seen at approximately 8:00 a.m. on March 29, 1990 in Albany, New York. She was leaving for school at the time. Her family resided in an apartment on Washington Avenue.
Monique called her mother at work at approximately 12:00 p.m. and said that she had missed the school bus and would remain at home for the day. Her mother, Annie Graniela (sometimes referred to as Anna Castro), returned to their residence during the evening hours and realized that her daughter had disappeared. Monique has never been heard from again.
Graniela waited until over eight hours passed before reporting her daughter as a missing child. She believed that the police department would not accept a report unless Monique had been missing for an extended period of time. As a result, the investigation was stalled and many possible leads had gone cold by the time law enforcement became involved.
An adult male acquaintance of Monique's admitted that he had taken her to the State University of New York (SUNY)'s Albany campus five days before her presumed abduction. The man stated that he did not have permission from the girl's mother to drive her to the school.
He said that he had seen Monique in a parking lot on Central Avenue in Albany across the street from a former Woolworth's department store and felt sorry for her. He purchased snacks for her at the school cafeteria and allegedly admitted that he secretly masturbated while she waited in line.
He was questioned by authorities less than 48 hours after Monique's disappearance and signed a typewritten statement. The individual was never charged in connection with her case due to a lack of evidence, but some officials believe he was involved in some manner. The man, who does not have a criminal record, maintains his innocence and claims that portions of his statement were fabricated by investigators.
Graniela and Monique relocated to Albany from New York City, New York in the late 1980s after a murder was committed in front of their former residence. Authorities looked into the possibility that someone harmed Monique because they believed she may have witnessed the crime. No evidence was discovered to support the theory.
Police also investigated Monique's stepfather, who was imprisoned at the time of her disappearance. Authorities questioned him to see if he'd had any possible altercations with other inmates, in the event that someone may have abducted Monique to get revenge towards her stepfather. Investigators determined that his prison sentence was not connected to Monique's disappearance.
Both Graniela and Monique's stepfather died of AIDS-related causes after her disappearance. Foul play is possible in her case, which remains unsolved.