Left: Angelica circa, 1985
Right: Age Progressed to age 33
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: July 14, 1985
Missing From: Temple, Bell County, Texas
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: February 5, 1974
Age: 11 years old
Height and Weight: 4’10” and 85 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Hispanic Female, Black hair, Brown eyes, Angelica has a mole on her nose and she is of Mexican descent
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A black/white short sleeved pullover shirt with the word “SASSOON” imprinted on the front of the shirt, black shorts, white Bobby socks, and white sneakers
NCMEC Number: 601422
Details of Disappearance
Angelica Gandara was last seen in Temple, Texas on July 14th 1985. She was seen two blocks away from her grandmothers home as she walked back to her family’s residence. She was last seen at approximately 5:00 pm to 5:30 pm. She was seen inside of a 1977 Chevrolet pickup truck with a Caucasian male and female. She was seen in this truck approximately 2 blocks away from her grandmothers house.
The truck was described as dirty, dented, and generally broken. It’s hood, front fender, and bed were painted red and white and the doors were colored blue and white. The top of the truck was painted white as well. Angelica has never been seen or heard from again.
Investigators believe that Angelica was abducted and possibly murdered. About one day before she’s disappeared, a neighbor stated they had seen her pushing a baby stroller with her niece inside of it. The neighbor stated that someone driving a blue car pulled up beside the girl and attempted to offer her a ride but Angelica continued walking. The car circled around the block and slowed down alongside her one more time before driving off.
Investigators are not sure if the car had any link to Angelica’s abduction but the incident was strange in nature and she never mentioned it to her family before she disappeared the next day. There were possible sightings of Angelica after her abduction.
A clerk at a Shamrock convenience store located in San Antonio, Texas reported that he had seen Angelica in late July of 1985, after she disappeared. San Antonio is approximately 150 miles away from Temple, Texas. During the sightings, the clerk would observe a girl who matched Angelica’s description her out of a vehicle driven by a man to go in the store and make purchases.
The girl would always appear to be nervous and would make quick purchases as if she was in a hurry. She was always quiet and never said anything when she went inside. The driver of the car would wait across the street until she came back out to leave. The clerk thought nothing of the girl or her companion until they found out about Angelica’s disappearance. The next time she came, he tried to delay the girl by offering her a drink and when he went to call the police, the man who drove her came inside and grabbed the girl. He told the clerk not to say anything and left.
The clerk was not able to describe what the man looked like and the girl has not been positively identified as Angelica. Investigators have also been unable to substantiate the claims either.
Two suspects have been named in her disappearance. One of them is a man named Ramiro Rubi Ibarra. In 1987, he raped and murdered a girl inside her home in Waco, Texas. He was an acquaintance of the girls family and broke into the home before killing her. He was convicted of the crime in 1997 and was sentenced to death. He is currently on death row. Investigators have no evidence that he abducted Angelica but he remains a possible suspect in the case.
In 2007, authorities announced that a man named, David Elliot Penton, was a possible suspect in Angelica’s case. He is suspected in the murders of several other young girls. He’s also a suspect in the 1983 abduction of Amber Crum and the 1986 abduction of Ara Johnson.
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 Angelica, Amber, and Ara. This has not been proven.
At the time of her disappearance, Angelica lived in the 800 block of North 6th Street. Her disappearance remains unsolved.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Temple Police Department 254-770-5506