Eleven-year-old Monique Pebbles Santiago was last seen at approximately 8:00 a.m. on March 29, 1990 in Albany, New York. She was leaving for school at the time. She called her mother at work at approximately 12:00 p.m. and said that she had missed the school bus and would remain at home for the day. Her family resided in an apartment on Washington Avenue at the time.
Monique's mother, Annie Graniela returned to their residence during the evening hours and realized that Monique had disappeared. She has never been heard from again.
Annie waited until over eight hours passed before reporting Monique as a missing child. She believed that the police department would not accept a report unless Monique had been missing for an extended period of time. As a result, the investigation was stalled and many possible leads had vanished by the time law enforcement became involved.
An adult male acquaintance of Monique's admitted that he had taken her to the State University of New York (SUNY)'s Albany campus five days before her presumed abduction. The man stated that he did not have permission from Annie to drive her to the school.
The man said that he had seen Monique in a parking lot on Central Avenue in Albany across the street from a former Woolworth's department store and felt sorry for her. He purchased snacks for her at the school cafeteria and allegedly admitted that he secretly masturbated her while she waited in line.
The man was questioned by authorities less than 48 hours after Monique's disappearance and signed a typewritten statement, but he was never charged in connection with her case due to lack of evidence. Some officials believe he was involved in some manner. The man (who does not have a criminal record) maintains his innocence and claims that portions of his statement were fabricated by investigators.
Annie and Monique relocated to Albany from New York City, New York in the late 1980s after a murder was committed in front of their former residence. Authorities investigated the possibility that someone harmed Monique as a result of believing she may have witnessed the crime, but there was no evidence to prove the theory.
Monique's stepfather was imprisoned in March of 1990. Authorities questioned him to uncover possible altercations with former inmates in the event that someone may have abducted Monique out of revenge towards him. Investigators determined that the stepfather's prison sentence was not connected to her abduction.
Both Annie and Monique's stepfather died of AIDS-related causes after her disappearance. Foul play is possible in Monique's case and it remains unsolved.
Monique is a Hispanic female with black hair & brown eyes, gaps between her teeth, and a birthmark on the back of her right leg. Her nickname is Pebbles. She was last seen wearing a turquoise blouse, blue jeans and black shoes.