Sara Jo Mowrey

Above: Mowrey, circa 2009


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: January 12, 2009 from Laguna Niguel, California
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: December 30, 1926
  • Age: 82 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'0 - 5'4, 128 - 145 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. White hair, brown eyes. Mowrey has dental implants. She has a scar on her abdomen. Some accounts refer to Mowrey as Sara Powell Mowrey or spell her last name "Mowry." She wears hearing aids.
  • Medical Conditions: Mowrey suffers from several medical conditions requiring medication. She needs a wheelchair or walker to get around. She may be in need of immediate medical assistance. Mowrey doesn't have any mental impairments or memory loss.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Mowrey was last seen at her residence at a senior community in the 25000 block of Camino Los Padres in Laguna Niguel, California at 9:00 p.m. on January 12, 2009. She has never been heard from again. She left almost all her personal belongings behind, including her medication, hearing aids, walker and purse. She took only her wheelchair and keys. Mowrey needed leg supports to use the wheelchair, but those were left behind.

    Police stated there were "inconsistencies" in Mowrey's checking account during the week before she went missing. The circumstances of her disappearance led them to suspect foul play and they searched a landfill for her body, but turned up no evidence. Authorities announced they were searching for a silver 2002 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck with a camper shell, which belongs to Mowrey's grandson. A few days later they found the truck, being driven by an acquaintance of Mowrey's grandson. The man, who has not been publicly identified, was on parole for narcotics offenses. Police arrested him on unrelated charges, impounded the truck and took it to a crime lab for analysis. The results have not been released.

    In September 2014, Michael Wesley Baker was charged with Mowrey's murder, as well as three counts of solicitation to commit murder. He is Mowrey's grandson and was the last person to see her. Authorities believe he murdered her at her home on the night of January 11/12, then disposed of her body in a nearby trash bin. Baker was allegedly confronted by an acquaintance while dumping the body, but the witness didn't go to police about it for years. Baker allegedly attempted to hire someone to kill this person. He has a prior record for methamphetamine possession, domestic violence and making terroristic threats. He is awaiting trial and could face 59 years in prison if convicted.

    Mowrey doesn't suffer from Alzheimer's Disease, dementia or any other medical condition that could cause her to wander away. Her body has never been found.


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Orange County Sheriff's Department


    Source Information
    California Attorney General's Office
    Orange County Sheriff's Department
    The Los Angeles Times
    The Orange County Register
    NBC Los Angeles


    Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated November 21, 2014; details of disappearance updated.

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