SPRING, Texas - Ali Lowitzer disappeared without a trace from Spring, Texas. Unlike the recent Gabby Petitio case, where remains were found within weeks, Ali is still missing 11 years later. Her family is still trying to solve the mystery.
"I never thought that I would be doing this for this long," says Jo Ann Lowitzer, Ali's mother. "They call it ambiguous loss because there's this piece missing from your heart that won't be filled until you do find her missing loved one."
Alexandria Lowitzer was last seen on April 26th, 2010. She had just turned 16-years-old and recently gotten a job at the Burger Barn in Spring, Texas. That day, Ali had just told her best friend she would see her tomorrow then called her mom to ask if she could stop by work to pick up her paycheck. Mom said yes.
Surveillance footage from the school bus shows Ali get off around 3 p.m. Later that day, JoAnn got home and noticed Ali was missing. She went by the Burger Barn to check on Ali. They told her Ali never came by.
"I was totally blindsided," recalls JoAnn. "We just had no idea. We just knew that she was missing, and she had to be somewhere. With the help of law enforcement and our community we just didn't know what to do except to search."
But after 11 years of working with law enforcement and getting the word out about Ali, JoAnn feels no closer to knowing what happened to her daughter.
"When there's a body that's been found that is waiting for identification, that's one of the bad days. You just sit and wait until you find out if it's male or female," JoAnn says, explaining that closure of any sort can be a huge relief to families of the missing.
When asked how it's been to watch the Gabby Petitio case garner national spotlight, JoAnn says, "it is wonderful. It makes me very happy that her family was able to get her out there that far. There are so many emotions that come with it when you see, from my shoes, another missing person case; different thoughts, feelings of jealousy, you know? Why did my daughter not get this much attention? And then, there's also hope. Hope that, one day, the right person will see Ali and be able to give us that missing piece that we've been looking for for 11 years to be able to bring her home."
Social media was in its infancy when Ali went missing. Getting the word out about her daughter has become far easier for JoAnn in recent years. The Texas Center for the Missing says people should not underestimate the power of sharing the picture or story of a missing person online. They recommend confirming the case has not yet been solved before posting.
The disappearance of Gabby Petito triggered national interest in solving her case, but in Texas alone, there were 49,110 missing person reports in just 2020, according to the Texas Center for the Missing. The Petito family is encouraging people to help the many families who are still awaiting answers.
Whether a loved one has been missing for years, months, days, or even just hours, JoAnn shares this advice:
"Don't sit and wait. You've got to take action yourself. You've got to start looking for your missing loved one yourself and I can't stress enough that there are people out there that care and will help you. Just don't sit there and wait."
Want to dig into Ali's case? Watch JoAnn's appearance on the FOX26 live stream show The Missing: Live here. You can find updates and backstory by joining JoAnn's official Facebook page Hope for Ali here.
Have a tip on where Ali Lowitzer might be? Click here to contact her mother JoAnn through her official website.