Two-year-old DeAngelo was last seen at his home in Houston, Texas on April 17, 1997 and hasn't been seen since.
When he was 7 months old, he was placed into state custody while his mother, Patricia McNeil was sent to prison after being convicted of theft.
After Patricia was released from prison, she got permission to visit DeAngelo and his brother. In December of 1996, the boys were allowed to live with Patricia, but they still officially remained wards of the state.
In March of 1997, child welfare workers noticed a bruise on DeAngelo's face and Patricia told them that he accidentally fell, but they suspected abuse and called DeAngelo's daycare center for information. In mid-April of 1997, Patricia removed him from the daycare center.
When authorities asked Patricia about her son's whereabouts, she claimed that DeAngelo was with Manuel Ferreira, whom she said was his father. Manuel Ferreira is a native of the Dominican Republic and lived in the Memorial area of Houston in 1997.
Patricia said that she didn't have Manuel's address or phone number. She gave police a pager number which turned out to belong to someone else unconnected to DeAngelo's case.
Investigators eventually located Manuel in the Dominican Republic after he fled there after jumping bond on a cocaine charge. Manuel denied being DeAngelo's father, he didn't have him and didn't know who DeAngelo was. After interviews with relatives, acquaintances and friends of Patricia & Manuel, police believed that Patricia's story was false.
DeAngelo's brother told investigators that he saw Patricia beat DeAngelo with a belt. Patricia was sentenced to 75 years in prison for abusing DeAngelo. Manuel Ferreira testified against Patricia at her trial. Patricia appealed her conviction, but it was denied.
Foul play is suspected in DeAngelo's case and authorities believe that Patricia might've harmed or killed DeAngelo, but she has not been charged with any wrongdoing in connection with her son's disappearance. DeAngelo's case remains unsolved and his case is classified as an endangered missing person.