The morning of April 26, 2010 started out typically for the Lowitzer family. Like so many mornings before, Ali found herself rushed as she made her way to the bus stop. Ali made it to the bus on time and went on the have a typical day at Spring High School.
At the end of the school day, just prior to leaving the campus, Ali called her mother to discuss walking to her new job at the Burger Barn to pick up a paycheck and possibly work a few hours. After begging her mom, Ali's mother Jo Ann reluctantly gave permission for her to walk 1/4 of a mile to work.
The last known images of Ali were captured by the Spring High School surveillance system at approximately 2:25 PM leaving the school. Images captures Ali exiting the bus with others three houses from her home. A couple of boys got off the bus at the same time and walked in the direction of their home. They both reported that Ali was lagging behind, but nothing out of the ordinary but texting on her cell phone.
The last eyewitness accounts of Ali state she was walking away from her home towards exiting the neighborhood. The last communication recorded was a text message sent to a friend at 2:57PM. A reasonable assumption would be that ten minutes of casual walking would put Ali somewhere on the road outside her neighborhood that leads to the Burger Barn.
Jo Ann returned home from work around the usual time around 5:30. Ali wasn't home but there was no cause for alarm, she figured Ali would call or message her when she got a break and planned to pick her up at closing time. Not wanting to interrupt her work with a call, Jo Ann sent Ali a text around seven to check up on her. After a while of not getting a response, she sent another message and started to become slightly concerned. By eight that evening Jo Ann had still not heard from Ali. The Burger Barn closed at 9:00, and it usually took about half an hour to close down, so Jo Ann left just before nine to see why Ali was not answering and find out what the problem was with the cell phone. To Jo Ann's surprise, the Burger Barn was closed, lights out and doors locked when she arrived. This is when the hair on the back of her neck stood up and she became very concerned about Ali.
Jo Ann immediately contacted other family members including Ali's dad, John. They began contacting Ali's friends and driving to the houses of friends in hopes of finding their daughter and find out what was going on, this was so "not like" Ali. Her family and friends spent hours trying to frantically to contact and locate Ali with no results then her parents contacted local law enforcement and reported her missing. The spent the night contacting friends and parents of friends. They drive to known hangouts and all around the neighborhood with no results. Ali was reported missing that night. The local precinct came to her home. The officer took a brief look in Ali's room and told her parents to call them tomorrow when she comes home. Jo Ann asked the officer "what do we do if she doesn't come home?" The officer said "call us". No report was taken, no advise given.
The next morning still no sign of Ali. After and entire day of trying to do all her family and friends could think of, her mom took the advise from her friend at the Girl Scout Council, and called The Laura Recovery Center. The next morning they arrived and helped organize the group of friends and family and encourage law enforcement active participation.
Law enforcement questioned the boys that exited the school bus with Ali and the employees at the Burger Barn but concluded that, since there was no evidence of a crime taking place, whey would classify Ali as a runaway teen. The Lowitzers were devastated! They strongly disagreed with law enforcement insisting that this was not Ali's typical behavior and there were circumstances that, to them, did suggest foul play:
-Ali was an avid texter. averaging 4,000 per month. and used her cell phone often yet all communication including pinging cell towers, stopped at about 3:00PM.
-Ali's room was exactly as it was hat morning prior. Her cell phone charger, clothes, makeup, money, jewelry and things that were very important to her were not missing. If Ali "ran away", she would have taken many of these items with her.
-The paycheck she intended to pick up was reported by the manager of the Burger Barn as not being picked up yet.
-Burger Barn employees claimed not to have seen Ali that afternoon.
-Ali rarely went out with friends and loved her creature comforts of home. Her friends would usually hang out at her house rather than she going to theirs. She liked being in her room, drawing, painting and listening to music while texting or talking on the phone.
-Ali was an active girl involved in softball, Girl Scouts, choir and art.
-Ali had plans in the near future. She looked forward to helping arrange an Alice in Wonderland party for her best friends birthday.
Thankfully, The Laura Recovery Center took a different approach. They immediately established a command center, coordinated search teams and volunteers to search the area. For two weeks straight, the Laura Recovery Center organized and executed awareness alerts, flyer distribution and searches. Literally hundreds of searchers, including local mounted search and rescue teams, search dogs, ATV's, boats and volunteers from the community searched in wooded areas, creeks and houses in the area.
It has been was too long since Alexandria Lowitzer disappeared and today we know as much as we did the days following her devastating disappearance:
The facts- she got off her school bus that day with all good intentions and mindset of a typical teen and simply disappeared without a trace.
Ali could very well be alive anywhere in the world. Not knowing or having any direction at all puts the family in the position of doing everything possible, every day. Their daughter needs them and the Lowitzer family needs you. They need all the help they can get spreading awareness to keep Ali's story, and hope of bringing her home alive.
Ali's mother actively updates their Facebook Page with updates, activities and postings of other missing people.
I remember how shy Ali was. It took allot to talk herself into having the courage to get on that stage. This was a home movie taken in the 8th grade.