Above: Kamelia Spencer in 1999 (left) and an age-progressed image to 18, circa 2015 (right)

Kamelia Marie Spencer

Last seen in Palmdale, California on December 20, 1999

Vital statistics: Biracial (hispanic/white) female. Born on January 7, 1997. Brown hair, brown eyes. Her nickname is "Sweet Pea." Last seen wearing a red blouse, black pants, and black shoes. Was two at the time.

Circumstances: She was abducted by her non-custodial father, Derek Spencer, and her non-custodial paternal grandmother, Helen Barbara Gruning. Photos and vital statistics for them are posted below. She was in foster care at the time of her abduction; her mother, Sonia Coppulecchia, lost custody of her shortly after her birth because Gruning stated she attempted to kill her, Kamelia, and Spencer and had threatented them over the phone. She was aquitted of all charges except for one count of making terroristic threats, but lost custody of Kamelia to Spencer and Gruning. A year later she was removed from their custody on charges that Gruning was inflicting abuse by Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Kamelia had an anti-seizure medication in her bloodstream despite not having a seizure disorder and told social workers her grandmother instructed her to behave as if she was sick. Gruning, Spencer, and Coppulecchia were all allowed supervised visitation with her after she was placed in foster care. Visitation was only supposed to take place at the social services office but Spencer convinced the staff to let him and Gruning have a visitation at the Funland amusement park. An hour into the visit, when the supervisor was out of sight, they fled with her. Felony warrants for kidnapping were issued for them on January 12, 2000 and FBI warrants for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution were issued for both of them on October 27, 2000. Authorities searched their residence and found that Spencer and Gruning had cleaned out all their possesions, stopped their mail, obtained passports, and sold most of their belongings. They may be in Las Vegas, or they may have left the country and traveled to Canada or Europe. They are believed to be in the company of Gruning's mother, Gertrude Schoenberg; a photo and vital statistics are posted below. Caution is advised.


Above: Derek Spencer in 1999 (left) and an age-progressed image to 43, circa 2015 (right)

Vital statistics: White male. Born on July 16, 1972. Sandy blond hair, green eyes. He has his first name tattooed on his forearm or left shoulder. He may dye his hair a darker color, wear blue or brown colored contacts, and may grow his hair long and in a ponytail. He may use the last names "Glantz" or "Gruning." Was twenty-seven at the time. CAUTION ADVISED - DEREK SHOULD BE CONSIDERED ARMED AND DANGEROUS.


Above: Helen Gruning in 1999 (left) and an age-progressed image to 68, circa 2015 (right)

Vital statistics: White female. Born on April 24, 1947. Red hair, green eyes. She may use the alias last names "Glanz," "Gottleib," or "Spencer." She often wears wigs and may dye her hair a darker color. She suffers from migraine headaches and may be in need of medical attention. Was fifty-two at the time. CAUTION ADVISED - HELEN SHOULD BE CONSIDERED ARMED AND DANGEROUS.


Above: Gertrude Schoenberg in 1999

Vital statistics: White female. Born on October 22, 1917. Gray hair, hazel eyes. She may use the alias last names "Glanz," "Gottleib," or "Spencer." She may be in need of medical or dental attention. Was eighty-two at the time.

If you have any information as to Kamelia's whereabouts, please contact the Los Angeles Police Department at 323-890-5500. Any information received can be kept confidential.


Information used to compile this casefile came from the following resources:
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
The Charley Project
The Doe Network
Los Angeles County Missing Children
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
California Missing Persons Registry
Missing Televison Series
The Sweet Pea Project
Federal Bureau of Investigation
KKTV Los Angeles
Los Angeles Crime Stoppers
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
NamUs National Missing Persons Data System
Our Missing Children (site now defunct)

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