A quiet, somewhat reclusive woman buys a bus ticket to Green Bay and vanishes. Her medicine is still at home, and she carries nothing but a purse. Did she even get on the bus? Did she get off the bus? No one knows, and now 20 years later her existence is almost erased from memory. What happened to Carmen Owens?
These cases are the hardest for me to write about and not because of the lack of information. The thought that someone can disappear and be forgotten is devastating. Carmen Owens was a quiet woman who lived a somewhat reclusive life. She had a few friends in Shawano but only seemed close to her mother, Verona Owens.
Carmen walked to the local grocery stores and coffee shops and frequently visited the library where her mother worked. She was an avid reader, but there are no records of what she was reading. The library hadn’t installed a computer system as of 1998. Perhaps she was checking out a book on starting a new life. We will never know.
Verona Owens died in 2009 hoping her daughter would walk through her door one day, but that still hasn’t happened.
Greyhound employees cannot say if Carmen reached Green Bay, or even if she ever boarded the bus in Shawano.
One thing we do know for sure is the fact that Carmen frequently traveled to a shopping mall in Green Bay, WI with her mother. Perhaps this is why the woman left without her luggage or her required medications. Maybe she was going on a shopping trip and planned to return.
There’s a strange twist to this case that makes people wonder. When police searched her home, they found some names written on an envelope.
“Ashthanoth, Athanor, Carmen Owens Farnam.”
Were these names the scribblings of a mentally unstable woman on medication? Or, were these names aliases she planned to use when she ran away?
The police also found a notebook with names of apartments for rent in the Green Bay area, and they found a map of Minnesota. What did all of this mean? Did she run away? Why haven’t they found her if she rented an apartment under an alias? Why didn’t she take any of her belongings? Why did she leave behind the medication for her mental health issues?
The Shawano Police Department hasn’t given up on the case, and they hope to find her one day. Owens’ information was entered into several national databases in hopes of locating the missing woman. They collected and stored her DNA from items they found in her home. The police also plan to place her picture on the back of playing cards to distribute to prison inmates. So far none of these tactics have yielded any results.
I implore you to share this woman’s story and her picture everywhere possible. Please don’t let this woman be forgotten. She needs to be found, and you can help make a difference.
If you have any information about this case, please contact the Shawano Police Department at (715) 524-4545.
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