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Family comes to terms with death of teen missing nearly 15 years

April 08, 2010|By DON AINES and JENNIFER FITCH
  • Ashley Daley and Sunday Gossert of Waynesboro, Pa., say they thought of Angie Daley (who is shown in the photo) each day for the nearly 15 years she was missing. Daley's skeletal remains were found Tuesday between Waynesboro and Greencastle in Franklin County, Pa. Ashley is Angie's sister, and Sunday is her mother.
Photo by Jennifer Fitch,

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Nearly 15 years of uncertainty for the family of Angie Lynn Daley ended this week with the discovery of her remains in a remote wooded area in western Washington Township, Pa.

"We had just come back from a vacation at the beach," her father, Clarence Daley of Chambersburg, Pa., recalled Thursday after learning that the skeletal remains recovered Tuesday were those of his long-missing daughter. After returning from that vacation, Daley said he drove his daughter to the house of a friend on Hawbaker Avenue in Waynesboro, where she was to spend the weekend.

That was Aug. 24, 1995, the last time he saw Angie. After her weekend with her friends, Angie was supposed to go to the home of his ex-wife, with whom he shared custody, he said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Angie's mother, Sunday Gossert, learned from Waynesboro Police Chief Mark King that the remains found could be those of her daughter. Gossert said King met with her Wednesday and told her the remains had been identified through dental records.

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Pennsylvania State Police said Angie Daley's remains were discovered through an investigation into the recent slaying of Kristy Dawn Hoke, 29, of Hagerstown.

Hoke's body was found Tuesday morning in a wooded area off East Ninth Street in Waynesboro after 47-year-old Jeffrey Eldon Miles of State Line, Pa., had been taken into custody.

Daley's remains were found at a farm between Waynesboro and Greencastle near Waynecastle in southern Franklin County, Pa.

"She was a great kid. We loved spending time together," Daley said of his daughter. "We didn't have any more problems with Angie growing up than with any other child."

However, Daley said his daughter would run away from home, usually staying at friends' houses for a few days.

"She'd always come back, and we'd work things out," Daley said.

"Angie was happy-go-lucky. Just your average 17-year-old," Gossert said.

Over the years their daughter was missing, the mother and father came up with ways to keep the memory of their daughter alive, while they dealt with the uncertainty of her fate. Gossert said they would play the Rolling Stones song "Angie" on her daughter's birthday and the anniversary of her disappearance.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on Thursday still had Angie Daley's 1995 photo on its Web site, along with an computer age-progression picture showing what she might have looked like at age 29. The physical description was of a slight girl, under 5 feet tall and about 100 pounds.

Her younger sister, Ashley Daley, said Angie, who would be 32, was "a fighter" who would've strongly resisted any attack, despite her diminutive size.

The worst part of the past 15 years was "the never knowing and wondering continually," Clarence Daley said. Over the years, he said he had come to terms with the possibility that Angie was dead.

"At least we know now," Clarence Daley said.

"It's sad, but at least the case is closed," Gossert said.

Angie's relatives said they feel slightly different when they wake up each morning now that they know she died.

"I still had that little bit of hope that maybe ..." Ashley Daley said, trailing off. "You just never know."

Angie's family praised King for his dedication to the missing person case while he was a detective.

"He seemed like he actually cared about this particular case," Ashley Daley said.

Posters with Angie's picture have dotted the police department's walls for years. King said new officers were told about her disappearance and veterans were routinely reminded about it.

Angie's family described her as "a partier" who enjoyed spending time with her dog, Sebastian, and going to McDonald's.

"My last note (from her) on the table was, 'I'm going to McDonald's. Don't leave without me,'" Gossert said.

Gossert said she'd tell other parents of missing children to not give up hope.

"Keep sending your prayers up," she said.

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