Shirley Dean Cowan

Cowan, circa 2001

  • Missing Since 01/14/2001
  • Missing From Austin, Texas
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth 10/04/1940 (78)
  • Age 60 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'2, 130 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A shirt, pants, and a white gold wedding ring with one large diamond surrounded by several smaller diamonds.
  • Medical Conditions Cowan has arthritis in both of her hands and in her back. She was depressed at the time of her 2001 disappearance.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Blonde hair, green eyes. Cowan has a surgical scar as the result of a gallbladder operation. She may use the name Shirley Allen Cowan.

Details of Disappearance

Cowan was last seen at the residence she was building in Oak Forest RV Park in Austin, Texas on January 14, 2001. A trail of her blood was found at the home after she went missing.

In December 2005, nearly five years after Cowan disappeared, her son-in-law, Thomas James Negri, was indicted for her murder. Negri and Cowan had been business partners prior to her disappearance. He had been considered a person of interest in her case since shortly she went missing.

Prior to his arrest, he gave a media interview asserting his innocence; he stated Cowan owed him money and he believed she had left of her own volition. In July 2007, Negri was convicted of murder and sentenced to serve 20 years in prison and pay a $10,000 fine.

Cowan was depressed at the time she disappeared due to several recent deaths in her family. She was planning to retire and move from Travis County, Texas to her new home in Austin. Foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.

Investigating Agency

  • Llano Sheriff Office 325-247-5767

Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated June 18, 2008; details of disappearance updated.