Antelope Valley Press Article by William Warford

Subject: William P. Warford's column from the Antelope Valley Press March 2, 2012.

 Missing mom and toddler mystery hits 23 years

Moms and their babies don't just disappear.

They aren't supposed to, anyway. It's extremely rare. There are television shows dedicated to covering missing persons cases, and they most often focus on missing young women or missing toddlers. Rarely do young women disappear with their young toddlers without resurfacing, for better or worse, within a few days.
Not so with Denise Fagot and her little boy, Daniel Spangle. The mom, 22, and the toddler, 21 months, vanished from their apartment in the 1800 block of West Avenue J-12 in Lancaster on March 1, 1989, and have not been seen since. Twenty-three years.

There were signs of a disturbance at the apartment, and no indication then or since that Denise would have taken off with Daniel. In addition to that being by all accounts totally out of character for her to leave, her clothes and shoes were there, as well as Daniel's things. She had just paid her utility bills, not something a person with limited resources would do if she were planning to disappear.

Family and friends, police detectives, newspaper articles, TV programs, missing persons organizations, private investigators and psychics all have come up empty for 23 years.

I wrote the original missing persons story in the Antelope Valley Press on March 8, 1989, after Denise's ex-boyfriend, Mark Spangle (Daniel's father), showed up at our front counter with missing persons fliers.

In the ensuing years I've done a number of interviews with Denise's mom, Ginger Gausman. She has since moved to Arizona, but we've stayed in touch all these years. You keep thinking, sooner or later, news will come. Probably won't be good news, but at least that chapter of the mystery could be closed.

So every year at this time I think of that pretty young mom and her cute little toddler, and wonder if this will be the last anniversary that passes without an answer. So much has transpired since March 1, 1989. Denise would be 45, Daniel 24.

As of this morning, mom and son have been missing 8,402 days.

You can write to him at P.O. Box 4050, Palmdale, CA 93590-4050, call him at 267-4166, or e-mail

William P. Warford's column is posted on our site courtesy of Antelope Valley Press.

Daniel Stephen Spangle
Disappeared 03/01/89
Related Disappearances: Denise Ruth Fagot
Name: Daniel Stephen Spangle
Nickname: Danny
Height: 3' 0"
Weight: 35 lbs.
Hair color: Blonde
Eye color: Blue
Sex: Male
Race: White
Date of Birth: 05/13/87
Date of Disappearance: 03/01/89
Age at Disappearance: 1 yrs
Current Age: 16 yrs
Missing from: Lancaster, CA
Type of Disappearance: Involuntary Missing

Denise Ruth Fagot
Disappeared 03/01/89
Related Disappearances: Daniel Stephen Spangle
Name: Denise Ruth Fagot
Nickname: Niecey
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 118 lbs.
Hair color: Brown
Eye color: Hazel
Sex: Female
Race: White
Date of Birth: 11/28/66
Date of Disappearance: 03/01/89
Age at Disappearance: 22 yrs
Current Age: 37 yrs
Missing from: Lancaster, CA
Type of Disappearance: Involuntary Missing
Description: She has a discolored front tooth and pierced ears.; Denise has a small scar on her left leg.

Click to Close Window

Missing Childrens Theme
Written & Sung by Dennis Walters

Lost Parents - Poem
Written by - Nancy Flippin