She left the flat she shared with a coworker around 1:00 a.m. on Friday, September 10, 1993. She wrote in the note that she would be back soon, but she didn’t say where she was going. At 1:30 p.m., she went to the Pizza Hut in Petal, Mississippi, where she grew up, and talked to an ex-boyfriend for a short time. She then left the restaurant by herself. No one ever saw her again or saw her go back to the flat.
Angie’s uncle Randy Freeman was driving on Mahned Road near New Augusta, Mississippi, early Friday afternoon when he saw her silver Honda hatchback. The car had been left behind near the historic Old Mahned Bridge, which spans the Leaf River. The window for the driver was down, but no one was inside or near the car. Randy was scared, so he called Debra Stewart, Angie’s mother, and told her what he had seen. When Debra couldn’t reach her daughter, she knew right away that something was wrong. She told the police that her daughter’s car had been found on the side of the road and that Angie was missing.
While she was missing, Angie was four months pregnant, but it’s not clear if she was still seeing the baby’s father because his name has never been made public. Debra really wanted to find Angie and knew she wouldn’t just disappear while she was pregnant.
There was no reason for Angie to be in the Mahned Bridge area, which made Debra wonder. “I had no idea this place existed out here.” I don’t know of any friends she has out here. Old Mahned Bridge was only about 15 miles from Petal, but it was in Perry County and Petal was in Forrest County. I have no idea what she was doing out here.
Debra says that when she first told the Perry County Sheriff’s Department that her daughter was missing, they weren’t too worried. “This case seemed like a runaway case to the sheriff.” Perry County wouldn’t let Forrest County put dogs out there, but they were ready to do it right then. “They told us to just take the car home. We asked if they needed fingerprints or anything, and they said no.” Angie’s stepfather, Bill Stewart, pointed out a small red puddle next to the car and asked the deputies if it was blood. Bill was told that the puddle was just gearbox fluid by one of the deputies who poked at it.
Investigators from the Petal Police Department said they were never told that Angie’s car had been found, so they weren’t able to search it for possible evidence before it was moved. Perry County Sheriff Carlos Herring wouldn’t say anything about the case, saying only, “We don’t just go on rumours around here.”
By Monday, Angie’s family and friends were getting more and more worried because she hadn’t been heard from. Since she was usually a very responsible teen, when she didn’t show up for work at the restaurant in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, as planned, everyone began to think the worst.
Sgt. Kent Wade of the Petal Police Department said that Angie’s disappearance seemed odd. “She didn’t bring a toothbrush, clothes, make-up, or anything else. She didn’t have any extra cash. “There was no sign that she wasn’t going to come back.” Angie paid off her car loan, stocked up on groceries, and bought a lot of baby clothes for her unborn child right before she disappeared. Besides that, her paycheck was waiting for her at work.
A reporter called around 5 p.m. on Monday to ask what was being done to find Angie. That’s when Sheriff Herring sent officers with search dogs to the area around the bridge. The dogs went right to the puddle that Bill had told the police about on Friday afternoon. Even though the puddle was dry, the dog’s handler took a sample to have it looked at.
The Louisiana search and rescue team used dogs to look for any possible clues about where Angie was on Tuesday in the area where her car had been found. They walked towards the water and pulled their handlers down to the edge of the water. There, searchers found a pair of white Keds trainers that Debra thought might belong to her daughter. She said she wasn’t sure because Angie bought her own clothes, but the trainers were the right size and looked like a pair she had seen Angie wear before. Police from Forrest County sent divers into the river to look for Angie’s body, but they didn’t find anything.
Detectives talked to Angie’s family and friends, but none of them knew what had happened to her. Wayne Murphy, the chief of police in Petal, said that they didn’t have any solid evidence to suggest that there was foul play. However, he did say that Angie wasn’t the kind of teen who would disappear without calling anyone.
Police from the Petal Police Department searched Angie’s car, which was at her mother’s house on September 15, 1993. They looked through the car for fingerprints and only found one that they weren’t sure about. Two live bullets were found in the cup holder of the car. They didn’t know how they got there because Angie didn’t have a gun. Investigators saw what looked like blood running down the back windscreen of the car to the back bumper. They took a sample and sent it to be tested to see if it was blood.
Last seen, Angie was in the parking lot of the Petal Pizza Hut. She went there to talk to her ex-boyfriend Steven Lindsay, who is 23 years old. Angie would sometimes stop by to see Steven while he was at work, he said. Steven was the assistant manager of the restaurant. He told her that he wasn’t interested in getting back together with her even though she said she did.
Stephen said that he suddenly remembered that he needed to reset a computer programme so that it would be ready when the restaurant opened in the morning. To do that, he went back inside. That was like her, when I came back outside she was already gone. “I didn’t give it much thought.”
Detectives also talked to another one of Angie’s ex-boyfriends. Larry Posey, who is 21 years old, told reporters that he and Angie had dated for a short time and still talked every once in a while. “I had to go to the police station.” The police questioned him like I was a suspect. He told the press that he thought Angie had faked her disappearance. “I believe she wants to grab our attention. “I hope everything is okay with her.”
People who knew Angie well said she had no reason to run away from home or leave her car in Perry County. The people who knew her were sure that she had been killed, and they were upset with how the Perry County sheriff had started the investigation. “I promise you if it were the sheriff’s daughter, he would have done it differently,” Debra said.
A week after Angie was last seen, the search for her was slowed down. Divers searched the Leaf River for possible clues in the water, but they didn’t find anything. Search dogs also didn’t find anything. Perry County police said they would keep walking along the banks of the Leaf River in case they saw anything, but there would be no more large-scale searches until they got new information. It was noted by authorities that the river wasn’t very high and the flow wasn’t very fast. People looking for the body should have found it if it had been put in the water.
Detectives talked to a lot of Angie’s friends and coworkers to try to figure out what she did in the hours before she went missing. Friends said that even though Angie had family in Perry County, she probably wouldn’t have known how to get to the Mahned Bridge area since she had just started driving. Suzanne Lindsey, who went to high school with Angie, said, “I don’t know how she got out there. I don’t think she could find her way down there.”
Stephen, Angie’s ex-boyfriend, had a younger sister named Suzanne. She told the press that she was friendly with Angie, but that they didn’t always get along. “I didn’t know how I felt about her because she was dating my brother.” But I could really talk to her about a lot of things. At first, Suzanne thought Angie had left on her own. “At first I thought she was just hiding to draw attention to herself, but now I’m not sure.”
Suzanne told Angie that her life hadn’t always gone the way she had hoped, but she still had hopes for the future. Her desire to become a nurse came up a lot. She was ready to do it because she had a plan. It was never really possible for her to get her life back on track. I believe all she wanted was to be loved.
Friends said that Angie liked being at home more than going out with them. She liked going out with friends, but she preferred to be at home. “When she got home from work, she’d go straight to her room and watch TV,” Debra said.
Debra said that she and Angie hadn’t always been close, and Angie had given up living with her parents a few months before. “She thought she was grown up, but she wasn’t.” “She had a lot to learn.” Angie had quit school in the ninth grade, but she had just started studying for her GED and was excited about the future. No one thought she would have run away while pregnant because she was so excited about having a baby and was doing everything she could to make sure the pregnancy was healthy.
On Sunday, September 19, 1993, the Forrest County Search and Rescue Team went back to Mahned Road. They used search dogs to find a spot in the river where they thought Angie’s body might be. There was no sign of Angie in the river where the New Augusta Volunteer Fire Department searched, but they did look.
Folks from Angie’s family and circle of friends looked for hours along the riverbanks and in the nearby woods for her purse and car keys. These things were not found in Angie’s car, and search teams were not able to find them. Agie’s stepfather said that they looked everywhere, inch by inch, but couldn’t find anything.
Detectives found out on September 24, 1993, that the substance they had found on Angie’s car and in the sand next to it was definitely blood. It would take more tests before authorities knew for sure if it was Angie’s blood, but the discovery was scary.
The search teams went back to Leaf River and did another search. This time, they moved a bunch of tree logs around to see if Angie’s body was stuck under them. Even though cadaver dogs said there was a body in the water, the search turned up nothing. Chief Murphy and Angie’s stepfather were both upset; he told reporters that they had both thought Angie’s body would be found in the pile of logs.
Bill and Debra told reporters three weeks after Angie was last seen that they thought she had been killed and thrown into the Leaf River. The area was still being searched by cadaver dogs, but nothing was found in or near the river after dozens of searches. The couple had been by the Mahned Bridge the whole time, standing watch in silence while searchers looked for clues in the water. They went every day until September 30, 1993, when they decided it was time to go back to work.
This March, Angie should have given birth to her child. Detectives said that the search for Debra’s daughter had come to a halt, so Debra quit her job to give the search her full attention. In order to get money for a reward, Debra decided to hold a big garage sale. In the end, she had two, one in May and one in July. They made more than $5,000 between them.
As the first anniversary of Angie’s disappearance approached, Debra spoke with a psychic who told her that Angie’s body was buried in the woods within a few miles of where her car was found. The psychic thought that Angie had been killed by being stabbed. They looked around the area with a friend who had a trained search dog, but they couldn’t find anything. Debra admitted that she had never really believed in psychics, but at this point, she was willing to try anything to find her daughter.
Debra was still somewhat bitter about the way the investigation had been handled when Angie was first reported missing. She felt that if the Perry County Sheriff’s Department hadn’t waited four days before starting the search, Angie would have been located. “I’ll always believe that. If they had done their job and brought those dogs out there, I just believe we’d have known something.”
Years went by and Angie’s loved ones resigned themselves to the fact that she wasn’t coming home. Debra did everything she could to keep her daughter’s name in the public eye, but with no new leads to report, the local news media soon lost interest in the case.
In June 1997, investigators searched a gravel pit in Perry County after a tip that Angie’s body might be buried there, but they didn’t find anything. Sheriff Herring admitted that the search had been a long shot as most of the tips they received were nothing more than rumors. Debra wasn’t notified of the search until after it took place. “They don’t ever let me know anything.”
By September 1998, Angie had been missing for five years and investigators still had no idea what had happened to her. Debra told reporters, “What scares me the most is people will forget her. She’ll be swept under a rug. It really bothers me the most.” Angie’s family was offering a $7,000 reward for information leading to her recovery, but there hadn’t been any solid leads in years. “The hardest part is not knowing. I can’t grieve…somewhere along the line, I’ve got to find out what happened. I just can’t believe there’s a perfect crime.”
In 1999, cold case investigators resubmitted the blood collected from the side of the road and from Angie’s vehicle for DNA analysis. The tests proved what Debra had suspected all along: the blood belonged to Angie. While the few drops of blood weren’t enough to confirm that Angie was dead, those close to the case had suspected as much for years and knew they were likely dealing with a homicide.
On January 12, 2002, Debra held a memorial service for her daughter. “I’ve got to do it for myself. I don’t want people to think I’m giving up, I’m not. But it’s been more than eight years and I need to give her something.” Around 50 people attended the ceremony.
Debra continued her fight to find her daughter. In November 2011, she raised money to have a billboard about the case placed in Perry County and continued to offer a reward for information leading to Angie’s recovery. She hoped this might bring in some new tips, but Angie’s case remained unsolved.
In November 2021, Perry County Sheriff Mitch Nobles said that the case had been turned over to the Perry County District Attorney for evaluation. Although he didn’t want to say much for fear of jeopardizing the investigation, he stated, “We do know she left Pizza Hut in her vehicle…we know something transpired from there to the Mahned Bridge where her vehicle was found.” Unfortunately, they didn’t have enough evidence to prove that any one person was responsible for the crime, so no charges were filed. As of June 2023, Angie remains listed as a missing person and her case is still unsolved.
Angela Lee Freeman was just 17 years old when she went missing from Petal, Mississippi in September 1993. Angie was four months pregnant at the time; the name of her baby’s father has never been publicly released and it’s unclear if he is considered a suspect in her disappearance. Blood was found on and around Angie’s car, leading detectives to believe that she was a victim of foul play, but her body has never been found. Angie has blue eyes and brown hair, and at the time of her disappearance, she was 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighed 108 pounds. If you have any information about Angie, please contact the Perry County Sheriff’s Department at 601–964–8461 or the Petal Police Department at 601–544–5331.