When 15-year-old Monique Daniels went missing on June 2, 1992, it happened quietly and abruptly. Her mother and a few of her siblings were at a tour with their church choir, and her father and brothers embarked on an impromptu fishing trip. When they returned, she was gone.
Monique's family neither filed a police report nor formed a search party; her parents appeared relatively unconcerned. Some say this is because she had run away before and was a problem child, but others believe something sinister transpired.
No one knows what happened to Monique Daniels, and as of 2018, all leads on her case have gone cold. Still, some family members - like Monique's aunt and one of her sisters - believe her stepfather had something to do with her disappearance.
On the surface, Monique Daniels's disappearance seems like any other runaway teen story. However, Monique's relatives have suggested she did not run away at all; they think her stepfather is somehow responsible for her departure.
In the decades since she vanished, Monique's family members - her sister Angelique, her brother Andrew, and her aunt Leslie - have all come forward with testimonies suggesting her stepfather, Charles, concocted a cover-up.
A year after her disappearance, police briefly questioned Monique's stepfather, but they did not consider him a real suspect. In response to the allegations, Charles claims Angelique and Andrew both abuse substances - therefore, they are untrustworthy.
Six months after Monique disappeared in 1992, her aunt Leslie attempted to contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Monique's mother said she would get the police report, but never followed up. It turned out she hadn't reported her daughter missing.
At the time, Monique's parents acted as if they respected their daughter's decision to run away. Monique's sister Angelique remembers them saying, "If Monique wanted to be here, she would be."
Monique's parents didn't report her missing for two years - they only filed a report when Angelique had fled. Many of Monique's relatives described the family's differing reactions to their two daughters' disappearances as strange.
For a while, the situation appeared stuck at a standstill, when suddenly Angelique - the second oldest daughter of the Daniels family - received a phone call roughly six months after Monique went missing.
The caller claimed she was Monique and resided in Dallas, TX. In addition, the mysterious caller said she was happy and had given birth to a daughter. The Daniels soon received a few letters allegedly from Monique, who assured everyone she was fine.
Some relatives were still suspicious, so they contacted a handwriting expert to compare Monique's handwriting to the scrawl on the letters. Before the investigation could begin, burglars pilfered Monique's letters, as well as a few CDs and a boombox.
Angelique later admitted to faking the letters and calls, claiming her stepfather Charles forced her to do so. Charles later confirmed her story, claiming his wife was feeling suicidal after Monique's continued absence. In Charles's mind, the faux communication would lift her spirits.
However, Angelique also said Charles allegedly forced her to go to Dallas with him so the letters would have the proper postmarks. As she puts it:
He took me to the grocery store and picked out stationery to write the letter on. He told me what to write. I felt very threatened. I felt very afraid... It has brought so much sadness to me on a daily basis and guilt for participating in the cover-up, even though I was a kid and I didn't know.
According to the Daniels children, their home was rarely a happy one. Their stepfather Charles had married Monique's mother Candyce, who had divorced an allegedly sexually manipulative man.
Charles and Candyce had two children together, bringing the total number to six. From there, the family reportedly became both verbally and physically abusive. Monique fought bitterly with Charles, and purportedly had a heated spat the day she disappeared.
After Monique vanished, the abuse did not stop, and her sister Angelique feared for her safety. She ran away to live with relatives in January 1994, then went to a Child Protective Services (CPS) office to report the abuse.
Her parents initially tried to extradite her back to Oklahoma, but a judge denied the request out of concern for Angelique's safety. Charles and Candyce later pleaded no contest to abuse and neglect of their children.