Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Twins Last Seen over a Decade Ago Mother Charged with Hiding Whereabouts

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Twins Last Seen over a Decade Ago Mother Charged with Hiding Whereabouts

Article excerpt

Patricia Fowler's twins disappeared from view so completely, so long ago, that almost no one realized they were missing.

The boy and girl - currently listed in court documents as John and Jane Doe - were last seen in person 13 or 14 years ago, when they were preschool age, police said.

Officials think someone spoke to them on the phone about 10 years ago, when they would have been 7.

What happened to them after that is a mystery.

"There are so many stories we can't really tell what's correct and what's not correct," said Penn Hills police Chief Howard Burton.

Fowler, 47, of Penn Hills, was arrested this month on charges that she obstructed an investigation into a child abuse case, endangered children and concealed their whereabouts, and gave false information to authorities.

Chief Burton said officers have interviewed more than a half-dozen people to try to find the missing boy and girl, who would now be 17.

"Everyone that we've talked to vaguely remembers there being boy and girl twins, and that's it," Chief Burton said. "They've vanished."

Penn Hills police became involved in the case June 20, when an Allegheny County Children Youth and Families worker asked them for help serving an emergency protective custody order for four of Ms. Fowler's children. Chief Burton said Ms. Fowler had failed to take them to some required medical visits, and the children were returned to her a few days later.

While working on that case, the chief said, the CYF worker looked into Ms. Fowler's background and discovered that she should have two more children, whose whereabouts were unknown. On July 6, CYF contacted police about the missing twins.

Penn Hills police began working with a local task force focused on finding missing children, a group that includes the Allegheny County police and local FBI.

Their efforts to find the children have been hampered, police said, by a string of strange and misleading stories Ms. …

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