While most parents fear a middle of the night phone call from police, B.J. and Susan Bowman found relief in theirs.
It was around 1 a.m. Tuesday morning when Susan Bowman received her phone call from police in London, Ky.
Officers had located the Bowmans’ 16- year-old daughter, Tabitha, who had been missing eight days.
“We just ran up there and picked her up,” Susan Bowman said Tuesday afternoon.
When Susan Bowman discovered her daughter missing the Monday after Father’s Day, it began what she termed “the hardest week of our whole life.” The circumstances behind Tabitha’s disappearance were a mystery for the tight knit family, compounding their heartache.
Throughout the last week, she and her husband took a pro-active role in the search for Tabitha. From posting flyers to personally following any lead on where their child could be, the Bowmans searched for Tabitha.
“We think that made a difference,” she said.
Just hours after they reported Tabitha missing, the couple received information she and a boy had been offered a ride by a truck driver when he found them hitchhiking.
“He (the boy) told the truck driver they were going to Kentucky,” Susan Bowman said they later found out. This tip led the couple to make seven trips to the bordering state.
It was on one of these treks the Bowmans distributed flyers complete with Tabitha’s picture. Among the many recipients that day was a Corbin, Ky police officer who said she would share it with fellow officers, according to Susan Bowman.
When the Bowmans arrived at the police station, their daughter was waiting and greeted them with a hug.
“She ran to us,” her mother said choking up.
At this point, more questions than answers remain for the Bowmans.
What they do know is that Tabitha knew the young man she left with and it appears she went willingly.
They also discovered the cell phone they had been frantically calling had been destroyed and left behind, Susan Bowman said. Tabitha told her parents she did this because she knew “if they called, she would answer.”
Susan Bowman said the family still has issues to address but that would come in time.
“She said she is sorry, but sorry doesn’t always make up for the hurt,” Susan Bowman said of her daughter’s apology.