A Texas Mother Deactivates Her Missing Daughter’s Phone Line After Spending Nearly $9K Over 12 Years
“It's like a piece of her,” Jo Ann Lowitzer describes through tears. Her daughter, Alexandria “Ali” Lowitzer, was last seen in April 2010.
The mother of a missing teen kept her daughter’s phone active for over a decade after her disappearance. But after spending a total of nearly $9,000 on the line, it came time for the mother to let go of one of the pieces of her child she had left.
Alexandria “Ali” Lowitzer was last seen getting off her school bus in Texas on April 26, 2010. She was 16 years old.
When Ali went missing, her phone was with her, her mother, Jo Ann, tells Inside Edition Digital, giving her hope that maybe she’d be able to find her if it ever got turned on and she was able to call.
With this thought in mind, she spent $60 a month over the past 12 years to keep the phone line active, Jo Ann tells Inside Edition Digital. After the first years Ali had gone missing, Jo Ann said a private investigator told her to put the phone number to a new phone, so that if anyone tried to contact Ali, Jo Ann would see it.
She made the switch to gain access to Ali’s Facebook and email in hopes that there may be new information that could lead to her being found, she said.
“We were able to log in to both of those, but it didn't yield any good information,” Jo Ann tells Inside Edition Digital.
“For a long time, I kept the cellphone turned on and charged, but the spam calls that I was getting on her number were driving me crazy. So after a while, I just stopped charging it,” Jo Ann says.
The phone had remained off for five years but Jo Ann kept it just in case they could use it again one day and because of its connection to her daughter.
“It's like a piece of her,” Jo Ann describes through tears. “It was just so important to her, and I had bought her, her very first cellphone that Christmas before she went missing.”
With the increasing costs of groceries, utilities, and other things in Jo Ann’s budget, she had to make the hard decision to make cuts, which meant canceling the phone.
“$8,600 that I've paid just to keep that phone number, that could have been a down payment on a vehicle I had to replace at the beginning of this year,” says Jo Ann. “So I just had to make the choice to continue to pay it or to let it go.”
Jo Ann made the call to the phone company and finally let go of the phone, but not the hope it represented.
“I do have hope one day, hopefully, while I'm still living, that we will find out what happened,” says Jo Ann.
To try and find Ali, Jo Ann set up a Facebook page and a website where people could submit tips. She then would send reports to law enforcement but unfortunately, they have not had a working relationship for over five years.
Jo Ann said she still will occasionally get tips on the pages but she uses it mainly as a way to spread awareness of other missing cases and talk about Ali.
Through social media, Jo Ann has also been able to connect with others that can relate to what she has gone through.
“I have found some comfort in some other families that have missing persons, and so we have that connection on the same level,” says Jo Ann. “I connect with other families and I organize locally here in Houston a missing person support group that we meet four or five times a year.”
This year, Houston’s Missing Persons Day Event will be held on Ali’s 29th birthday on February 4.
“We connect with each other most of the time and try to keep Ali's face out there. That's what gives me hope and keeps me going. I know one day the right person is going to see Ali's face and come forward and tell us what happened,” says Jo Ann.
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