Left: Amber circa 1983 Right: Age Progressed to age 35
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: December 26, 1983 from Dallas, Dallas County, Texas
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: September 25, 1981
Age: 2 years old
Height and Weight: 2’4″; 25 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: White Female, Blonde hair, Blue eyes, Ambers ears are pierced
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A lavender/purple colored snow jacket, a hooded Dallas Cowboys sweater, a light blue shirt, blue jeans and brown earth shoes
Circumstances of Disappearance
Amber Crum was last seen on December 26th 1983. She was inside of her mother’s live in boyfriend, James Britton Monroe’s, pickup truck. The truck was parked outside of McDonalds Grocery in the 800 block of Murdock Road. The store was located two blocks from their home. She was last seen at approximately 9:45 am.
Monroe stated that he went inside the store to purchase soft drinks and paper towels. He reportedly left Amber in his truck while doing this. He stated that when he came back, Amber had vanished. She has not been seen since.
Authorities believe that Amber is deceased. Three weeks after Ambers disappearance, Monroe was charged with her murder. Authorities stated that the girl had shown signs of being abused prior to her disappearance and sometimes had bruises on her body. The charges against him would eventually be dropped due to lack of evidence. Monroe maintains he had nothing to do with Ambers disappearance.
Her mother, Stephanie Hughes, stated that she checked on Amber at 9:30 pm on the night of December 25th and stated that Amber was very cold and would not blink. She believed that her daughter had died. She later recanted this and stated that she was pressured into saying it.
Another witnesses account would prove that Amber was alive after the 25th. He stated he was calling Monroe on the 26th and said he heard Ambers voice in the background. Eventually, Hughes and Monroe parted ways and Hughes moved to Indiana.
Ambers biological father had been ruled out as a suspect early on in the investigation. He and Stephanie divorced in 1982 and the action was finalized on December 1st 1983. He didn’t have much of a part in his daughters life.
In 2007, authorities announced that a man named, David Elliot Penton, was a possible suspect in Ambers case. He is suspected in the murders of several other young girls. He’s also a suspect in the 1985 abduction of Angelica Gandara and the 1986 abduction of Ara Johnson. Amber fits the victim description of Penton.
Penton was actually also responsible for the 1984 death of his own infant son and in 1987, he murdered a friends 9 year old niece in Ohio. He has been incarcerated in Ohio since 1987. Some of Penton’s cell mates stated that Penton claimed responsibility for the disappearances of Ara, Amber, and Angelica. This has not been proven.
In 1986, authorities compared Ambers fingerprints to the fingerprints of a young girl who was found abandoned in California in 1983. The girls description matched that of Amber. The fingerprints conclusively ruled out any possibility that Amber and the girl were the same person.
Ambers case remains unsolved and foul play is suspected. Authorities believe it’s possible that Amber was abducted by a non family member.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Dallas Police Department 214-670-4426
NCMEC Number: 600887