LANCASTER (CBSLA.com) — Where did Denise Fagot and her 2-year-old son Daniel go in 1989? It’s a question that’s haunted her mother for the past 28 years.
Denise was “very beautiful, very outgoing; she had a terrific personality,” said Ginger Gausman, her mother. “She lived for today, and she enjoyed going places.”
It was around 6:30 a.m. March 2, 1989, when Denise got up to make breakfast for her live-in boyfriend at their Lancaster apartment. He later left for work, and that was the last time Denise and Daniel were seen by anyone.
“It leaves me frustrated,” Gausman said. “It leaves me angry that, c’mon, somebody’s gotta know something, something happened.”
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department detective Richard Lopez took over the case many years after the mother and son went missing.
“The apartment hadn’t looked ransacked, her property was there, her clothes were there,” Lopez said. “In fact, her vehicle was still in the parking space outside.”
He says other than some damage to Daniel’s closet door and what looked like a footprint on top of the air conditioner outside, everything else was intact. The only other things missing besides the mother and son were their Social Security cards. Lopez says the cards were later found at the house of the baby’s father. He had a volatile relationship with Denise over custody of their son.
“He just said they showed up mysteriously in his mailbox,” Lopez said.
Daniel’s father and Denise’s boyfriend were immediately considered persons of interest, the detective said. Both denied any involvement in the disappearance. And throughout the investigation, there was never any physical evidence, anything that could positively identify or eliminate either as the suspect.
“At this point in the investigation, neither one have been exonerated,” Lopez said. “They’re still in the pool as potential suspects.”
Denise and Daniel’s remains were never found. Lopez says if they were abducted and murdered in the Lancaster area, it would be nearly impossible to find their remains in this vast desert.
“I know she’s in a better place,” Gausman said. “I know she’s not here, and I just pray that Danny is.”
If Daniel is alive, age-progression photography has been done to show what he would like look. Gausman and her family will continue searching for answers.
“It would be done, and I could mourn in a better way,” Gausman said. “So, maybe we can find her physical being and bring her home.”
Denise’s former boyfriend reached by phone said he had nothing to do with her disappearance. The father of her son did not returns calls seeking comment.
Anyone with information on the disappearance’s of Denise and Daniel is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department or visit the department’s website.