Angelo Gene Puglisi

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Top Row and Bottom Left and Center: Angelo, circa 1976;
Bottom Right: Age-progression to age 45 (circa 2010)

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: August 21, 1976 from Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • Classification: Non-Family Abduction
  • Date Of Birth: September 2, 1965
  • Age: 10 years old
  • Height and Weight: 4'0, 65 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown eyes. Angelo has three scars along his spine and a skin discoloration on his chest. Angelo's nickname is Andy.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A bathing suit, a towel and sneakers.
  • Medical Conditions: Angelo is mildly epileptic. He will need hospital treatment if he has a seizure.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Angelo was last seen at the Higgins Memorial Swimming Pool, a public pool approximately 100 yards from his family's home near their home at the Stadium Housing Projects on East Dalton Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts on August 21, 1976. His mother told investigators that he called home at about 3:30 p.m. that day and spoke to one of his brothers; Angelo gave no indication that anything was wrong at the time. A lifeguard at the pool reported that he saw Angelo walking around the area at approximately 5:45 p.m.; that was the last time anyone has seen him.

    Investigators initially believed Angelo was a runaway. He was the product of a broken home and they speculated that he might have felt torn between his divorced parents. His father took a lie detector test and was ruled out as a suspect in his case. Foul play is now suspected in Angelo's disappearance.

    One prime suspect in Angelo's disappearance is the late pedophile Charles Pierce, who was a resident of Haverhill, Massachusetts in 1976. A photo of Pierce is posted below this case summary. Pierce confessed to two abductions that occurred in the 1970's: one was the case of Janice Pockett, a girl missing from Connecticut in 1973; and another case involving an unidentified boy from Lawrence, Massachusetts. It's believed that Pierce was referring to Angelo's case by that description. He claimed that he sexually assaulted and buried the unidentified boy in a grave near that of Pockett's; neither body has been discovered. Pierce was familiar with the Lawrence area and was a suspect in more than a dozen children's disappearances from the 1950's through the 1970's in New England. Pierce was convicted of a Massachusetts murder and was serving a 20-year prison term when he died in 1999.

    Another prime suspect in Angelo's case is Wayne W. Chapman, a Providence, Rhode Island native who may have been a pedophile associate of Pierce. Chapman was arrested in Waterloo, New York in September 1976, while driving a was charged with driving converted van that had once been a blue delivery truck. Chapman's vehicle closely resembled the description of a van one of Angelo's friends observed near the pool area where Angelo was last seen. Photos of Chapman and his vehicle are posted below this case summary. A witness told authorities that he and another boy found a large pit in the woods near the pool; the friend stated that the hole could have been large enough to hold a child's body. When he returned to the area a few days later, the pit had been filled. This spot has never been proven to be a gravesite.

    Investigators also found child pornographic materials, a starter pistol and a sock which appeared to be bloodstained in Chapman's van. The sock was eventually lost and it was never proven whether the substance on it was blood. Chapman was later convicted of the 1975 rapes of two boys; he lured both boys from the same swimming pool Angelo would later vanish from. Rhode Island police have a letter stating that Chapman was working in Rhode Island at the time of Angelo's disappearance. Chapman has never been charged in connection with Angelo's case. He spent time in a treatment center before being sent to prison. He was released in November 2004.

    Angelo's parents were having relationship difficulties at the time he vanished and have since parted ways. They were both considered suspects in his case and have not officially been removed from the list of possible offenders, but investigators doubt either one was involved in his disappearance.

    Angelo's childhood friend, Melanie Perkins, produced a documentary entitled Have You Seen Andy? about his case. Two excavations near Lawrence in 1999 failed to locate Angelo's remains. His case remains open and unsolved.

    Pierce Chapman Chapman's Van
    Left: Pierce; Center: Chapman; Right: Chapman's converted van

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Lawrence Police Department
    978-794-5925

    OR
    978-794-5900

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    Source Information
    The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
    The Boston Globe
    The Eagle-Tribune
    Have You Seen Andy?
    Newspaper Archive
    The Detroit News
    The Doe Network

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    Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated December 17, 2010; picture added.

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