Angelo Gene Puglisi
Angelo, circa 1976; Age-progression to age 50 (circa 2015); Charles Pierce; Wayne Chapman; Chapman's converted van
- Missing Since 08/21/1976
- Missing From Lawrence, Massachusetts
- Classification Non-Family Abduction
- Sex Male
- Race White
- Date of Birth 09/02/1965 (54)
- Age 10 years old
- Height and Weight 4'0, 65 pounds
- 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.
- Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown eyes. Angelo has three scars along his spine and a skin discoloration on his chest. His nickname is Andy.
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 parents. Foul play is now suspected in Angelo's disappearance. His parents 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.
One suspect in Angelo's disappearance is Charles Pierce, who was a resident of Haverhill, Massachusetts in 1976. A photo of Pierce is posted with this case summary. He confessed to two abductions that occurred in the 1970s: one was the case of Janice Pockett, a girl who disappeared 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 Janice'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 1950s through the 1970s in New England. He was convicted of a Massachusetts murder and was serving a 20-year prison term when he died in 1999.
Another 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 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 with 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 in. This spot has never been proven to be a gravesite.
Investigators also found child pornography 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 that state at the time of Angelo's disappearance. Chapman has never been charged in connection with Angelo's case. He served his prison sentence, and was civilly committed as a sexually dangerous offender, but he was released in 2019. He is in his seventies and has Parkinson's Disease, and after his release he sent to a a Boston medical facility, although his sex offender registration lists him as "homeless."
Angelo's childhood friend, Melanie Perkins, produced a documentary about his case entitled Have You Seen Andy?. Two excavations near Lawrence in 1999 failed to locate Angelo's remains. His case remains open and unsolved.
On August 21, 1976, Andy Puglisi spent the day at a local pool, not far from his home in Lawrence, MA. His friend, Melanie, was with him at the pool that day but left before Andy. Andy never made it home that afternoon.
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