Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Relatives of Missing Twins Beginning to Fear Worst

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Relatives of Missing Twins Beginning to Fear Worst

Article excerpt

While detectives continue to try to find twins Ivon and Inisha Fowler - missing for at least a decade - the children's relatives are finding it harder and harder to remain optimistic.

"It's taken me a while to even want to think that the children are deceased, but that is my biggest fear," said Gelda Ferguson, an aunt on their father's side of the family.

The twins' paternal grandmother, Charlene Miller, said she hopes the children, who would be 17 now, are safe with someone. But one development in the case "made me think that something's not right."

Their relatives spoke Monday after brief hearings for the twins' mother and brother, who are charged with obstructing the investigation into their whereabouts. Police have said Patricia Fowler, 47, gave them conflicting stories about what happened to Ivon and Inisha - including one version in which she said she sold them. Officials have said another of her sons, Datwon Fowler, 19, impersonated his missing brother in a text message exchange with police.

Ms. Miller said she tried to visit her grandchildren over the years and was often stymied. Sometimes, she said, Ms. Fowler switched her phone number. Other times, Ms. Fowler moved. Ms. Miller said she showed up sometimes with presents and was told that the children couldn't come out.

"She was a good mother," Ms. Miller said of Ms. Fowler. "She was an isolator. She kept the kids in close quarters. She didn't want to bring them or let them come out or anything."

Ms. Miller said she last saw Ivon when he was about 2 years old, shortly after he was severely burned. "He came home with the bandages on, and I think two or three days later, my son got arrested ... and when he came back six months later, he asked where Ivon was. She said the aunt down South had him," Ms. Miller said.

Police have said Ivon was burned in the early 2000s, when one of his siblings turned on a shower, and hot water scalded him, likely leaving scars along his face, arms and hands. Lt. Tom Ianachione of the Allegheny County Police said officers from his department and Children, Youth and Families investigated and ruled the burns "accidental. …

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