Community Remembers Gonzalez 20 Years After Disappearance
RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Many say it’s hard to believe 20 years have passed since a five year old girl disappeared from her Franklin County home never to be seen again.
Even after her parents both served prison time for killing the child, the events that led to Andrea Gonzalez’s disappearance on November 20, 1993 remain unclear today.
“It’s one of those cases that you look back on and you hope you did everything you could.”
Russellville Police Chief Chris Hargett worked in the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department in 1993.
Hargett, along with numerous investigators worked the case of 5-year-old Andrea Gonzalez.
The five year olds body was never found, even though law enforcement agencies and volunteers spent countless hours searching.
“I think we did all we could do at the time with the information that we had. It took several years to get to that point,” explained Hargett. “The fact that we were able to make arrests on the parents and they did get some penalty out of it makes us feel better.”
Andrea’s step mother Kim Gonzalez was convicted of child abuse, after her then husband Paul Gonzalez pleaded guilty to manslaughter and agreed to testify against her.
Both served time in state prison and walked away.
“Time is probably the best healing effect of anything,” stated Hargett. “But, I’m sure it’s still in a lot of people’s minds as they go through their day.”
Chief Hargett admits the community and agents who worked so hard on the case will never have full closure, due to the fact that little Andrea’s body was never recovered.
The only tribute to Gonzalez left is a black memorial that sits in front of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department.
At last check, Kim Gonzalez was living in northwest Alabama, while Paul Gonzalez moved to Texas shortly after his release from prison.