Home » Paula Daniels, 19: Last Seen At Home In Los Angeles In 1981
This is a case that was brought to me by a woman named Monique who asked if I could write about her mother, Paula Daniels. When searching for information about this case, there weren’t any news reports about Paula going missing, however, there were a handful of agencies that shared similar information regarding the 19-year-old’s disappearance.
Reports state that Paula Daniels seemingly vanished from Los Angeles on September 9, 1981. While it has been shared that she was last seen on West 60th Street near Normandie Avenue and Slauson Avenue, very little is known about the circumstances leading up to the teen going missing. Monique, Paula’s only child, provided as much information that she could, and she continues to build on what she has learned from her family. Now, she has graciously passed on the details for me to share with you.
According to Monique, both Paula and her sister were teenage mothers who were “living alone in their house.” Monique’s grandmother is said to have financially provided for the girls and their household. “My aunt still resides there and [has] been there [for] over 40 years,” Monique revealed, adding that she “recalls very little details” about her mother.
“There was no history of drug use,” Monique said. “She was reported missing from our home while my aunt, cousin, and I was present. This took place while we were sleeping.” She was just two years old.
As Monique understands, on September 9, 1981, Paula Daniels was with a friend earlier on in the day before disappearing from her home. Paula and this friend allegedly “hitched a ride,” said Monique, “assuming the person dropped them off at our house.” This is where the story takes an even stranger, yet tragic, turn.
The friend that Paula was with, revealed Monique, was “murdered right after my mother disappeared.” She said, “Her friend’s body was discovered behind an alley (which was behind our house or the next street).” From what she was told about her mother’s disappearance, Monique claimed that “the friend’s story changed repeatedly.”
Monique’s family would endure a series of tragedies including her grandfather passing away, the death of a child that led to depression, and the murder of her grandmother. Life events have kept Monique from following up on this case as much as she would like, but she is hoping that someone, somewhere, will help her find closure.
In 2011, Monique said authorities did reach out to her with an update regarding Lonnie Franklin Jr., or The Grim Sleeper. From the 1980s to the 2000s, Franklin is suspected of murdering anywhere between 10 to 25 women. He targeted Black women in South Los Angeles neighborhoods, specifically, and had a penchant for sex workers or drug abusers. It is suspected that the serial killer‘s reign of terror was longer than documented and his victims could be dozens upon dozens of women. When searching his home, police found over 1,000 photos and hundreds of hours of video recordings. Authorities are still trying to identify the women in over 100 publicly released images.
Police called Monique 10 years ago to tell her that during their thorough investigation, there was nothing to show that her mother was a victim of The Grim Sleeper. She said detectives also told her that there “was no DNA evidence” tying Paula’s disappearance to Franklin.
At the time of her disappearance, Paula Daniels stood 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighed 190 pounds. She had brown hair and brown eyes. Her middle name is “Ann.” Her DNA and dental records are on file, however, her fingerprints are not. Any distinguishing marks or what Paula was last seen wearing are unknown. She is classified as an endangered missing person. Paula would be 59-years-old at the time of this publication.
Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact the Los Angeles Police Department at (213) 996-1800 or their local authorities. The agency case number is 09-1233421.
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