18 years later, investigators hope to solve Angie Fullmer's disappearance
It’s an anniversary that Angie Fullmer’s family wishes they didn’t have to commemorate each year. Today marks 18 years since the 34-year-old mother of five disappeared without a trace.
“I can still remember everything,” said 75-year-old Becky Mendoza about the last day she saw her daughter. “Nothing has healed my heart ... there will always be a void. But it would help my heart to know the truth.”
Ten days before Christmas in 2002, Angie had gifts for her daughters wrapped and sitting under the tree when she went for a drive around Lake Siskiyou with her boyfriend. He reported that they argued, she got out of his truck and walked away. He said he then heard a car door slam, so he believed she got a ride out of the area. He reported Angie missing 12 hours later, and she was never seen again.
“Even after all these years we continue to pray that we get answers,” said Angie’s sister, Pam Orchard, who now lives in Redding. “We will not give up hope.”
Angie would now be 53 and a grandmother. After so many years, Orchard believes her sister is no longer alive. However, she also believes there are people who hold the key to the mystery and she hopes they’ll come forward to give her family closure.
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‘Whether it was an accident or on purpose, we don’t know’
“People don’t just disappear,” Orchard said. “We think Angie’s life ended early. She left this earth, and not on her own. Whether it was an accident or on purpose, we don’t know.”
There have been moments of hope for Orchard: In August 2003, a man walking his dog found human female bone fragments near where Angie was reportedly last seen. Authorities initially believed the bones were hers, but they turned out to be cremains that had been scattered during a memorial ceremony, according to charleyproject.org.
Once in a while, Orchard will get a call from an investigator with the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office who’s working her cold case. Inevitably, the leads turn out to be dead ends, Orchard said.
Siskiyou County Undersheriff James Randall said his office continues to look into every lead, tip, and even rumor they receive regarding Angie Fullmer’s investigation.
“We believe that there are still those in our community that have the key to putting Angie’s case to rest, but are still reluctant to come forward,” Randall said on Tuesday. “We know the likely reason for them not coming forward is fear of prosecution for remaining silent all these years. We would like to reassure anyone that has information which could result in closing Angie’s investigation that we have no desire to go after them unless they were directly responsible for what happened to her.”
Randall said if a person wants to remain anonymous, “that too can be arranged.”
“We still have hope and believe that this case can and will be solved,” Randall added. “We just need some help from the community to help tie in information and put it all together ... we know there are those that have that information still.”
A life cut short
At the time of her disappearance, Angie was living with her mother and her daughters, then ages 7 to 17. She had struggled with alcohol for much of her life but never gave up hope that someday she’d recover, said Orchard.
Shortly before her disappearance, Angie asked her mother to care for the children if anything ever happened to her.
“Her life was complex and she did not get the chance to finish what she had set out to accomplish,” Orchard said. “She wanted a better life. She left behind all whom she loved so dearly – her daughters, mom, sisters, nieces and nephews and her true friends.”
Orchard said she feels terrible for her nieces, who never had a traditional family. “There’s a big void in their lives, not knowing the truth.”
How to help
Anyone with information about Angie’s disappearance should contact the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office’s 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.
Skye Kinkade is the editor of the Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers and the Siskiyou Daily News. She is a fourth generation Siskiyou County resident and has lived in Mount Shasta and Weed her entire life.