case file 69DMMA Missing since August 21, 1976 from Lawrence, Essex County, Massachusetts. Classification: Non-Family Abduction -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Vital Statistics Date Of Birth: September 2, 1965 Age at Time of Disappearance: 10 years old Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 4'0; 65 pounds Distinguishing Characteristics: Brown hair; brown eyes. Puglisi has three scars along his spine; he also has a skin discoloration on his chest. His nickname is "Andy." Medical Conditions: Puglisi is mildly epileptic. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Circumstances of Disappearance Puglisi was last seen swimming in a public swimming pool, approximately 100 yards from his family's Lawrence, Massachusetts home on August 21, 1976. He has never been heard from again. Puglisi's case is full of twists and turns. The late Charles Pierce, a resident of Haverhill, Massachusetts, has been considered one of the prime suspects in Puglisi's disappearance. Pierce confessed to two abductions in the New England area during the 1970's; one was the disappearance of Janice Pockett, who was apparently abducted from Tolland, Connecticut in 1973. The other abduction was that of an unidentified boy from Lawrence, Massachusetts -- whom many believe to be Puglisi. Pierce was suspected in more than 12 child-related disappearances in New England from the 1950's - 1970's; however, he was eventually imprisoned for the murder of one teenage girl from Massachusetts. He was serving his 20-year sentence for the crime when he died in 1999 of complications from tuberculosis, among other maladies. Pierce was familiar with Lawrence, Massachusetts at the time of Puglisi's 1976 disappearance. He had held a job in a neighboring town and was also familiar with the Puglisi family's favorite restaurants and other landmarks. Pierce claimed that he buried the unidentified boy in a grave near Pockett's supposed grave; these graves have never been discovered. Pierce told police that he abducted the boy believed to be Puglisi under the guise of taking him fishing. Pierce then stated that he sexually assaulted and killed the child before burying him near Pockett's resting place. Pierce may have worked in tandem with another pedophile, Wayne Chapman, during the 1970's. Chapman is still considered the top suspect in Puglisi's disappearance in the minds of many police officers. Chapman was arrested in Waterloo, New York on August 27, 1976 -- six days after Puglisi disappeared from Massachusetts. Chapman was charged with driving a stolen vehicle, which was a converted van which had been a blue-painted bread delivery truck at one time. The van was close to the description of an unidentified vehicle seen near the swimming pool where Puglisi was last seen Police discovered a starter pistol; pornographic material; child photos; and a bloody sock in Chapman's truck at the time of his 1976 New York arrest, among other items. The results of blood tests reportedly conducted on the sock were lost sometime after Chapman's arrest and have never been located. Police suspected that the blood on the sock may have matched Puglisi's type. Authorities began utilizing a psychic detective in the late 1970's and early 1980's for the Puglisi case. The psychic claimed that the boy was buried in an area of Massachusetts which fit the description of a locale near Lawrence. He also stated that Puglisi died as a result of an epileptic seizure, which was brought on by a gag stuffed into the child's mouth while the unnamed attacker sexually abused him. Police had not yet released the details of Puglisi's epilepsy at the time of the psychic's reading. Investigators maintained that the manner in which Puglisi was attacked (as described by the psychic) fit the profile of Chapman's previous assaults. Chapman is currently imprisoned on a charge unrelated to Puglisi's disappearance. He recanted previous statements he made to police in the 1970's, in which he admitted that he was familiar with Lawrence, Massachusetts and had attacked two boys in the area in the 1970's (neither of them was Puglisi). Chapman now claims he has never been to the city for any substantial length of time. Throughout the course of the ensuing invetigation, police also came to suspect both of Puglisi's parents in his case, as they were having relationship problems at the time their son vanished (they are no longer involved with each other). Both parents have been essentially ruled out as suspects in Puglisi's case, although not officially. Both maintained they never harmed their son. Puglisi's mother informed authorities that her son called home at approximately 3:30 PM on the day he disappeared. She said that one of his brothers spoke to him and the conversation gave no indication that anything was amiss at that time. A lifeguard claimed he saw Puglisi wandering around the pool area at 5:45 PM; the child then disappeared. One of Puglisi's friends maintains that he saw a van similar in stature to Chapman's truck parked near the swimming pool at the time of Puglisi's disappearance. The same friend also stated to authorities that he and another child came across a pit in the woods near the pool sometime after Puglisi vanished, which was large enough to hold a child's body. The pit was empty at the time the children viewed it; when they returned days later, it had been filled in. It has never proven that this site is where Puglisi or anyone else may have been interred. Two excavations took place in two areas near Lawrence in 1999, both of them with the intention of searching for Puglisi's body. He was never located. Puglisi's childhood friend, Melanie Perkins, is now a filmmaker and is producing a documentary on the search for Puglisi.