What happened to Angela Freeman?
After 23 years, a mother still holds on to hope that justice will be found for her daughter even though no body has ever been found and no suspect has ever been revealed. So what happened to Angela Freeman?
“Maybe she’s hurt. That’s what I’m hoping, but I don’t know they keep looking in the river.” “The not knowing is the worst feeling in the world you can have. I don’t want to go through the rest of my life not knowing.” “She didn’t deserve what she got. She deserves justice and it’s been hard.” Through 23 years of interviews, questions, and even a nervous breakdown, Debra Freeman still searches for justice for her daughter. “She was lovable and she had a brother and if you did something to him, you’d better watch out because she was coming for you, you know?” Angela Freeman was an independent 17-year-old who Debra says always put family first. Even after finding out she was expecting a child with her ex-boyfriend, she was determined to keep the baby and begin a family of her own, but Angela would never get to see her child grow. Angela would never even make it to her 18th birthday. “She said she’d see me Friday and she left and that was it. We never saw her again, but when she walked out the door she did say ‘Mom, I love you.’”
Perry County authorities say Angela was last seen at the Pizza Hut in Petal on September 10th, 1993. Witnesses say she was arguing with her former boyfriend in the parking lot around 1 a.m. That same morning, only hours later, Angela’s 1984 Honda Accord Hatchback was found abandoned at the old bridge over Leaf River. Angela’s mother Debra spotted a puddle of liquid beside the car. Police told her it was transmission fluid. They assumed the teen was just another runaway. But when Monday passed and Angela didn’t show up for work, Debra called her local TV station. It was then that authorities began to believe the clues were leading them to something much more sinister than originally expected. “Forrest County dogs were down at the bridge and people were starting to look for her and that puddle that was so fresh on Friday that everybody had parked in overnight, the dogs went straight to it.”
That puddle would turn out to be Angela’s blood and the search intensified. K9 units were able to sniff out Angela’s keds, one in the tall weeds near her car and the other beyond a locked gate on private property. After multiple searches through Leaf River, Angela’s body never turned up, leaving an entire family without closure. Her grandmother said, “My late husband, which was her paw-paw, she loved him to death. He passed away in ’96 and he never knew what happened and at my age, I would just like to find out before my time.”
And that closure may be on its way, even after 23 years, investigator Captain Rusty Keyes has never given up on this case. He started a cold case unit on the University of Southern Mississippi campus in 2006 and believes all that’s needed to solve this case is just a little bit of information. “They know who they are, they know what they’ve done and I think over time they need to come to that realization in their heart that they took a life and stand up for that.”
Until that day, Debra and her mother Clydell hold on to every memory they have of their teenage daughter.
The song that you heard during that story was actually written by Angela’s brother. If you have any information on what happened to Angela Freeman you’re encouraged to call Crime Stoppers as soon as possible