Authorities in Georgia identify remains as Florida woman who disappeared in 1985
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla - Authorities in Georgia identified the remains as that of Seminole County, Florida mother who disappeared in 1985. Her name is Mary Cowan, but she went by "Angie."
Her daughter, Angelique Hall, said it’s been almost 40 years since Angelique Hall saw her mom, but the memory of her is still clear. "I was 10 years old, and she was fun, and she was silly and then one day she was gone," Hall said.
Cowan disappeared from their home near Apopka, leaving her four children wondering what happened for years. Now, nearly four decades later, Hall said she got a call from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, saying agents identified her mom’s body.
According to investigators, a passerby found Cowan hurt and unconscious on the side of the highway in Newtown, Georgia in May 1985. She was taken to the hospital but died a few weeks later from blunt-force trauma to the head. They weren’t able to find her family or identify her at the time.
"I knew she was gone. And I never imagined they would find her. This is a shock from Georgia finding out that not only her body was found but that a town picked her up out of a ditch and took care of her last days. She was loved, and I hear [she was] buried," Hall said.
Authorities in Georgia identified the remains as that of Seminole County, Florida mother who disappeared in 1985. Her name is Mary Cowan, but she went by "Angie." [Credit: Family handout]
Hall said investigators exhumed Cowan’s body in 2012, and in 2022, they submitted her remains to the private DNA lab, Othram. Chief development officer for Othram, Dr. Kristen Mittleman, said her team developed a DNA profile, and the FBI did the rest of the work through genealogy.
"Once they did place her in a family, they contacted one of her children and then they were able to do that confirmatory DNA test that shows it’s a 1 to 1 match between parent and family child. And then she finally has her name back, and it is Mary Angie Cowan," Dr. Mittleman said.
Hall said she still doesn’t know the circumstances of her mother’s death, but she said that doesn’t matter to her. She’s happy to finally have answers.