Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mom Kept in Jail over Fraud Tied to Missing Twins Case Fowler Missed Court Date, Caught Saturday

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mom Kept in Jail over Fraud Tied to Missing Twins Case Fowler Missed Court Date, Caught Saturday

Article excerpt

Patricia Fowler, the mother of missing twins who disappeared more than a decade ago, was returned to jail Sunday after a bail hearing on theft charges related to receiving public assistance on behalf of the children for years even though they were not in her custody.

After the preliminary arraignment, Ms. Fowler, 47, was remanded to Allegheny County Jail, unable to post $10,000 bond in this most recent case.

She had been charged in August with several felony counts, including concealing the whereabouts of son Ivon and his twin sister Inisha, but had been free on $500 cash bond until she failed to appear for a court proceeding Thursday. At that point, her original bond - 10 percent of $5,000 - was revoked and a county fugitive task force began an intensive hunt that ended when she was found holed up in a North Braddock home at about 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

The resident of that home on Kirkpatrick Avenue - Courtland LaPrade, reported to be Ms. Fowler's boyfriend - also was taken into custody Saturday. LaPrade had been on parole from a 2008 felony robbery case for which he had served seven years in state prison. He had violated his parole in May 2016 with a retail theft charge and had been wanted by authorities for the violation and the theft. He, too, was arraigned Sunday on the retail theft charge and then was remanded to the Allegheny County Jail, unable to post $2,000 bond.

A LaPrade family member who asked not to be publicly identified said the family does not know Ms. Fowler or any of her nine children. The family member said LaPrade had been in state prison for seven years and that, to the family's knowledge, his relationship with Ms. Fowler appears to be recent. His release from state prison was within the past year or so.

LaPrade, 47, was formerly a resident of Washington, Pa. Over the years, Ms. Fowler has lived at more than a dozen locations, all around the Braddock, Swissvale, North Braddock and Munhall areas. At the time of her arrest in connection to the missing twins, who would be 18 now, she was residing in Penn Hills with five of her children. After her arrest, she was evicted.

The twins' paternal grandmother, Charlene Miller of East Pittsburgh, said Sunday that, though she has known Patricia Fowler for about 25 years, she had never heard of LaPrade.

Allegheny County Sheriff Bill Mullen said confidential information had led his fugitive warrant squad to the North Braddock home where Ms. Fowler was found hiding in a bedroom. She surrendered without incident when deputies entered the bedroom.

They had gained access to the house from LaPrade after the deputies warned that they would force open the door if he didn't comply, the sheriff recounted.

Sheriff Mullen said three separate fugitive task force squads were working the case since Ms. …

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