Monday, August 01, 2005

“That’s Not a Story”

Those cold, hard words were spoken by someone in the L.A. media to Ginger Gausman when she asked for help from the media upon the 10 year anniversary of the disappearance of her daughter, Denise Fagot, and her grandson, Danny Spangle.

Those words tore an even bigger hole into Ginger’s heart than what already existed. Not only had she lost one person in life she loved dearly, but two. She thought that compassion was enough reason to run the story.

Back in 1989, Danny was a sweet curly-haired 22-month-old. He was inquisitive by nature and never failed to bring a smile to the faces of those who loved him as they watched him run across the room, always looking anywhere but the direction in which his little body was being propelled.

About two weeks prior to Denise and Danny’s disappearance, Ginger recalls watching a movie on TV about a missing teenage boy whose mother was not getting any help from the police. She remembers thinking to herself that the mother was not doing enough to find her son. Ginger could not fathom how the mother could cope with her loss. Little did she know that she would soon be thrust into a never-ending nightmare of her own, one that would still be taking place 16 years later.

Ginger was very proud of her daughter and the great love she had for Danny. When Denise left Danny in Ginger’s care to go on an outing, she would bring with her 3 diaper bags full of supplies. She took care to make sure Danny had everything he might need. The family teased Denise about that habit, but the fact that those diaper bags and other necessities would remain behind when the two disappeared was troublesome.

The night that Denise and Danny disappeared, the sliding door to the patio was found forced open, and a telltale footprint was on the patio. Danny’s closet door had been pushed off its track. Denise’s car was left behind, along with all of their possessions. Only Denise’s purse was missing. The mother and her young son were wearing pajamas.

Ginger tried to get people to listen to her, but was told that Denise was a runaway. No one would take fingerprints because there were no bloodstains.

The media was busy that week covering the story about how President Bush’s dog, Millie, was having puppies on their bed, and she had displaced them from their normal sleeping quarters. In the meantime, two people were missing without a trace from their home in California, and a mother struggled to fathom the nightmarish situation that was playing out in her life.

Ginger will never forget about her Denise and Danny. Even 16 years later, she thinks about them on a daily basis. In her heart, she feels that Denise was murdered, but that Danny is still alive somewhere. Ginger states: “I am a very positive person and I truly believe that God will let me know what happened when the time is right. Be it while I am on this earth or after I leave this earth. I dream at times about being reunited with my grandson. I just hope that if he is alive that he someday learns about us.”

There is someone out there who knows something….someone who could provide the key to unlock the puzzle that is the disappearance of Denise and Danny. If Danny is still alive, he is 18 now.

Ginger speaks to him, with the love of a grandmother’s heart: “Daniel, you have another side of a family that you probably don't know exists. We are your mother's family and we love and miss you! You have cousins galore, some that have never met you, but you have been in their hearts. The ones that knew you as well as the ones that never met you have shed tears of sadness and would love to see you.”

When asked to describe something important that should have been done that could have changed the outcome, Ginger explains that she wishes she would have jotted down the license plate number of the truck that had been following her the week before, and that she had known about the threat that Denise received.

A good mystery is just that, but not when it is your mystery, your life, your missing loved ones, and your broken heart.

The website Ginger lovingly crafted for Denise and Danny can be seen at


Blogger Mimi said...

Wow, Kelly, I can really relate with the pain that this Mother is feeling and the nightmare that she is living. I will have her as well as all the families of missing in my heart as we travel this horrible road that we have been chosen to travel.

I love the blog and will see you here!

Thank you for everything!

12:08 AM  
Blogger Kelly Jolkowski said...

Hello Mimi,

Are you the mom of a missing child, too? If so, please contact me via email through the Contacts page at the Project Jason website.

You're most welcome.


1:26 AM  

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