Pamela, circa 1979
- Missing Since 03/06/1979
- Missing From Chicago, Illinois
- Classification Endangered Missing
- Sex Female
- Race Black
- Age 4 years old
- Height and Weight Unknown
- Clothing/Jewelry Description A dark blue jacket with orange stripes, red pants, and blue boots.
- Distinguishing Characteristics African-American female. Brown hair, brown eyes.
Details of Disappearance
Pamela was last seen at her residence in the 2200 block of North Campbell Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. A neighbor at her apartment building, who also happened to be Pamela's maternal aunt, saw her on March 6, 1979.
When Pamela's mother, Theresa Gilmore Gates, reported her missing on March 10, she said she last saw her daughter at 8:00 p.m. on March 9, just before Theresa and her husband, Pamela's stepfather Raymond Gates, left her alone so they could get back to dinner. During questioning, Theresa's story changed, and she admitted having left her daughter unattended for about fourteen hours. Pamela has never been heard from again.
In 1975, a few years prior to her disappearance, Pamela was made a ward of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services after Theresa was accused of beating three different times. She was returned to her mother on March 1, 1979 less than a week prior to her disappearance, as there was insufficient evidence to file charges against Theresa.
After Pamela went missing, her Theresa and Robert were charged with child neglect and endangering the life of a child for leaving Pamela unattended. In April, the Gateses were also charged with cruelty to a child. The outcome of the criminal case is unknown.
Pamela has never been located.
- Chicago Police Department 312-746-6000
Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated March 2, 2023; casefile added.