Details of Disappearance Bowie was last seen at Lenox Apartments where she lived in the 2100 block of Gables Drive northeast in Atlanta, Georgia. She was abducted from the parking lot. Five witnesses heard a woman scream for help at 11:00 or 11:15 p.m. and then saw a maroon 2002 Mercury Sable driving off. Inside the vehicle were two men in their late twenties or early thirties. One of the men was heavyset and bearded.
One of the witnesses memorized the car license plate number and called 911. Police found items including a woman's green jacket, jewelry, a manila folder, a broken perfume bottle, a container of chicken wings, eyeglasses and two broken fingernails scattered in the parking lot. The car seen leaving the scene was located the next day, abandoned and burned. It was badly damaged.
On July 7, Authorities arrested Jasper Keels and charged him with the theft of the car. He had borrowed it from an acquaintance on July 4 and never returned it. A photograph of Keels is posted with this case summary.
On June 20, two weeks prior to her disappearance, Bowie and her fiance, Shernotta "Rico" Walters, were arrested on felony charges after the police found marijuana and a handgun in her vehicle. Walters was driving; he had borrowed the vehicle from Bowie. Bowie had no prior criminal history and maintained she had no idea how the drugs and gun got in her car.
The charges against both of them were eventually dropped, but Walters was jailed because he was on parole and possession of a gun constituted a violation. (He had served time on drug charges two years earlier.) He was still incarcerated on the day she disappeared. Authorities questioned him about Bowie's abduction, but he is not being called a suspect and her family does not believe he was involved.
It is unclear whether the criminal case is connected to Bowie's abduction. She has no prior criminal history. She and Walters planned to get married on March 30, 2007.
Bowie had worked as an exotic dancer for a time after she moved to Atlanta from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1999, but only for a few months. At the time of her disappearance, her main source of income was from doing accounting for various clients. She also owned two businesses: Go2girls Promotions Inc., an event planning company, and LaCoca Wear Clothing, a clothing boutique. She met with her lawyer just hours before her disappearance; he says she was behaving normally and appeared to be in good spirits.
Keels was originally only charged with the theft of the abduction car and with drug possession, but in September 2007 he was also charged with Bowie's kidnapping. Investigators do not know whether he knew her, but they theorize the abduction was not a random act and was connected to illegal drug activity. They stated they expected to arrest other individuals in connection with the abduction. Bowie's body has not been located and no one has been charged with causing her death.
Bowie grew up in Pittsburgh with her mother stepfather and four siblings. She graduated from high school at Perry Traditional Academy, then got a bachelor's degree in accounting from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, where she was class valedictorian. She remained close to her family in Pittsburgh even after she moved to Atlanta, and frequently came back to visit. Her disappearance remains unsolved and foul play is suspected.
- DeKalb County Police Department
Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated July 15, 2013; five pictures added, details of disappearance updated.