Shirley Dean Cowan

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Above: Cowan, circa 2001

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: January 14, 2001 from Austin, Texas
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: October 4, 1940
  • Age: 60 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'2, 130 pounds
  • 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.
  • 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.
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    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 Cowan's 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.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Llano Sheriff Office
    325-247-5767

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    Source Information
    Texas Department of Public Safety
    KXAN 36
    KVUE TV
    The Marble Falls Highlander

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    Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated June 18, 2008; details of disappearance updated.

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