Although African Americans make up just 13 percent of the U.S. population, we account for 33 percent of the missing in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s database. Cases involving African Americans also tend to receive less media coverage than missing Whites, with missing men of color getting even less attention.
NewsOne has partnered with the Black and Missing Foundation and TV One to focus on the crisis of missing African Americans.
To be a part of the solution, NewsOne will profile a missing person weekly and provide tips about how to keep your loved ones safe and what to do if someone goes missing, while TV One‘s newest show, “Find Our Missing,” hosted by award-winning actress S. Epatha Merkerson, tells these stories in visual form.
Monica Renee Bowie
Case Type: Involuntary
Date of Birth: March 30, 1974
Missing Date: July 5, 2007
Age Now: 39
Missing City: Atlanta
Missing State: Georgia
Hair Color: Black
Hair Length: Long
Eye Color: Brown
Wear Glasses or Contacts: No
Location Last Seen: Monica was kidnapped from her parking deck at approximately 11:14 p.m. at the Berkshire at Lenox Apartments at 2124 Gables Dr., NE, Atlanta, Ga. A maroon 2002 Mercury Sable seen leaving the scene was located in Atlanta, abandoned and burned.
Circumstances of Disappearance: Police said they saw signs of a struggle in the parking lot with pieces of her fingernails and hair. Neighbors said they heard her screaming for help. Police arrested a male suspect that was seen speeding away from the scene but he was never charged in the case.
Bowie had big plans, dreams and talents but may have gotten mixed up with the wrong crowd. She was a graduate of Cheyney University in Pennsylvania and moved to Atlanta after college to start her own event planning company “Go to Girl,” and an accounting business.
“I always saw her as a big, bright star,” said one of Bowie’s friends Danyell Sparks.
But soon, wanting money for her business, Bowie turned to exotic dancing at a club where she rubbed shoulders with Atlanta’s movers and shakers. Later, after moving to the upscale Buckhead neighborhood, Bowie also became engaged to a man who had a history of drug sale arrests.
“I thought he was a little too young, a little too immature and a little too into the street life for her. She wasn’t a street life girl,” said Bowie’s mother Linda Howard of her daughter’s fiancé.
Bowie’s fiancé was in jail at the time of her kidnapping.
Police did question an associate of Bowie’s fiancé who was seen walking around her apartment complex. Police pulled the man over and discovered a paper bag filled with a large quantity of cash.
“The fact that he was in that area with that money and Ms. Bowie was missing, I think it’s curious, very curious,” said Bowie’s attorney Gerald Griggs.
Howard also went to jail to speak to Bowie’s fiancé.
“He looked me in my face and said: ‘I didn’t do anything and I really don’t know anything’ and I said: ‘But I don’t believe you,’” said Howard.
Police also questioned the man that borrowed the car that was seen speeding from the scene of her kidnapping and was later found burned out but he was only charged with car theft and drug possession.
Six years later, police have no new leads or explanations about what may have happened to Bowie. Family and friends believe it was her associations with various people that might have led to her kidnapping.
“She always wanted to find some good in everything. She gave people her friendship that didn’t deserve it,” added Sparks.
Bowie’s family and friends are struggling with not knowing what happened to her.
“We have a fear of not knowing that’s almost indescribable,” said Bowie’s aunt Joan Domena.
Last Seen Wearing: Monica was last seen wearing a dark green dress shirt and blue jean pants.
Identifying Marks or Characteristics: Monica wears braces.
Anyone with information regarding the circumstances of Monica Bowie’s kidnapping should contact the Atlanta Police Department at (404) 614-6544, (404) 546-4280 or the Black and Missing Foundation’s confidential Tip Line.