February 5th, 2014
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month
SPRING, TX – Children disappear from the streets of America every day; in fact, 900,000 a year – that’s one every forty seconds! While some are family abductions and runaways, many are not. Many of these missing children are kidnapped, murdered, or end up in the hellish world of human trafficking and can’t understand why no one has come looking for them. We cannot ever give up looking for them – they depend on all of us to bring them home.
Alexandria (Ali) Lowitzer is one of those missing children. She disappeared on April 26, 2010 near her home in Spring, Texas, and has not been seen or heard from since. She was 16. Her family knows she got off the school bus near home and headed to the main street in the direction of her workplace. But she never made it to the Burger Barn, a quarter of a mile from her home, to pick up her check and maybe work a few hours. Although her mother did not get a response from texts she sent Ali she didn’t worry at first because she thought her daughter had decided to work. But when Jo Ann Lowitzer arrived at the Burger Barn just before 9:00 PM to pick Ali up and saw it was closed, she knew something was very wrong.
The last eyewitness accounts of Ali state she was walking away from her home towards the road that led to the Burger Barn and her last communication was a text message to a friend at 2:57 PM.
After contacting family members and friends in hopes of finding Ali, her parents reported Ali missing to local law enforcement. The family drove to known hangouts; they drove to friends homes; they drove all over the neighborhood – but could find no sign of their child. They then turned to the Laura Recovery Center for Missing Children for help. While law enforcement questioned boys who had exited the school bus with Ali and employees at the Burger Barn, they concluded that since there was no evidence of a crime, they would classify Ali as a runaway teenager. Her parents were devastated.
Ali’s parents knew better. They knew their daughter; she would not run away from home. They cited the facts; Ali was an avid texter, averaging 4,000 a month, yet all communication ceased from her phone at 3:00 PM. Her room was exactly as it was that morning with her cell phone charger, clothes and money – all the things she would have taken if she ran away. Employees at Burger Barn claimed not to have seen her that afternoon – even though she was last seen on the road leading to the establishment. Ali was a home body who enjoyed the comforts of her home and would rather hang out at her house with friends than go to theirs. She was actively involved in Girl Scouts, choir, art and softball and was looking forward to things in the future – like arranging an elaborate birthday party for a friend. Things you would not expect from a child who was planning to run away.
Thankfully, the Laura Recovery Center took Ali’s disappearance seriously and quickly established a command center and coordinated search teams and volunteers to search the area. For two weeks straight, the center did everything they could; organized and executed awareness alerts, flyers, and searches with hundreds of searchers that included local mounted search and rescue teams with search dogs, ATV’s, boats – searching the woods, creeks and houses in the area.
While the family have raised $30,000 as a reward for information leading to the return of Ali, it’s been nearly 4 years since Ali disappeared and they know no more today than they did the day after her disappearance. Ali could very well be alive anywhere in the world. The Lowitzer family knows that Ali needs them and they need all the help they can get to get the word out and keep her story alive.
For more information, please visit: www.alexandrialowitzer.com.