Angelique Emily James

Left: Angelique circa, 1997

Right: Age Progressed to age 20

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

Missing Since: February 15, 1997

Missing From: Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California

Classification: Endangered Missing

Date Of Birth: October 2, 1992

Age: 4 years old

Height and Weight: 3’6″ and 40 pounds

Distinguishing Characteristics: African American Female, Black hair, Brown eyes, Angelique has a congenital skeletal abnormality and due to this, one of her legs and one of her arms is shorter than the other, she also previously fractured her left arm but it’s only visible on an x-Ray, and she has burn scars on the top of one foot

NCMEC Number: 840165

Details of Disappearance

Angelique was allegedly last seen in her home in Los Angeles, California on February 15th 1997. She hasn’t been seen or heard from since that time. When police inquired as to where the child was, her mother, Shirley Ann James, refused to cooperate and failed to produce Angelique.

Shirley was arrested after she failed to divulge where Angelique was in November of 1997, approximately 9 months after the child’s disappearance. She did not comply with the police’s demands for her to produce her so she was arrested as a result. By that time, Angelique’s 3 other sisters had been taken from her custody by child protection workers. She had seven other children besides Angelique when the child vanished.

In addition to her arrest, Shirley was charged with killing Angelique and three counts of child abuse and two counts of corporal injury to a child. They believe that the child was murdered at some point between December 15th 1996 and March 1st 1997. She pleaded not guilty to all charges in January of 1998. Shirley pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter in Angelique’s presumed death.

It should also be noted that one of Shirley’s children, a nine month old infant girl, died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 1992. Investigators reviewed the circumstances of her death after Angeliques disappearance but found no evidence for charges to be filed.

Shirley was sentenced to a maximum of 5 years in prison for her daughters murder under the plea agreement. Investigators attempted to locate her body in late 1997. They brought cadaver dogs to her homes yard and searched. One of the cadaver dogs detected Angeliques scent in the general area but they found no evidence that she was there or anything that relates to her case.

Some missing children’s agencies may list her date of disappearance as March 1st 1997 and September 4th 1997. Investigators have been unable to produce Angelique’s remains but believe she was the victim of a homicide and that foul play was involved.

Investigating Agency

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department 323-890-5500

Source Information

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

The Charley Project

The Doe Network