Monday, July 29, 2013

Authorities Didn't Inform Amber Lowery's Family of Postiively Identified Remains, Brother Speaks Out

Nearly six months after she was reported missing near Rising Star, Amber Lowery's family has been told forensic tests show the remains found are hers. Michael Lowery, Amber's husband, was arrested for her murder even before her remains were found. Now we're hearing from Amber's family, who says they have been kept in the dark about the investigation. KTAB's Victor Sotelo spoke with Amber's brother about how the case is being handled.

 Ryan Christensen, Amber's brother, explained to us one of the last things his sister said to him before her death.

"Ryan I just need to tell you, that if anything happened to me, that Mike did it." Christensen said.

The details are still fresh in his mind, just as you wold expect them to be. He knew something was wrong back in July of 2013, when her husband Michael Lowery said she left their ranch by herself.

"I was assuming she was missing, because Mike's story was, 'I don't know where she is at, we had a fight and she left." Christensen states.

Now they know for sure, it was his sister's body who was found on their ranch. Something Christensen, and his family, knew in their heart when her remains were first found.

"They found her vehicle in Rising Star, they put a few more things together," Christensen said, "and shortly after that Mike was arrested with charges of murder in the first degree."

However, the positive I.D. is something the Comanche County authorities new since last October. Christianson says after leaving several messages, he had to go to Comanchy County to find out.

"Next of kin should have been notified sooner than this, in my opinion."

Now he wants to be sure the next step is taken.

"We want this legal system to prosecute Mike, the way that he needs to be prosecuted, plain and simple."

Michael Lowery is awaiting trial in Comanche County and the family says they are expecting a summer time trial.

Amber Lowery was photographed in the pilot's seat of an Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter in June 2012. 
By STEVE NASH,  Brownwood Bulletin

A former Brownwood Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter pilot who lives near Rising Star with her husband and two small children has been missing since July 23, and her disappearance is being investigated by the Comanche County Sheriff's Office.

Law enforcement officials found 34-year-old Amber Lowery's 2011 Honda CRV abandoned in a parking lot in Rising Star Saturday afternoon, according to information on a Facebook page called Find Amber Lowery. Lowery's brother, Ryan Christensen, a Phoenix, Ariz. accountant, said he fears for his sister's life.

Lowery gave birth to her second child in February and did not return to work, Christensen said. Her other son is 5. A former co-worker said Lowery had worked at the Brownwood base for about a year after transferring from another Air Evac Lifeteam base.

The family's home is six miles east of Rising Star just inside Comanche County. Sheriff's officials were not immediately available for comment.

Lowery's husband, Mike, is an offshore helicopter pilot and was reached by cell phone. Mike Lowery said his wife left home around 9:45 the night of July 23 and did not say where she was going. "She left in her car," Lowery said. "We had heard that she had some kind of friends coming into town. We believe she went to meet someone."

Lowery said his wife had been experiencing postpartum depression and was also depressed over the deaths of her parents, who were killed in April in a one-vehicle accident in Comanche County.

Lowery said he learned from Comanche County Sheriff's officials that his wife had told an Air Evac Lifeteam employee about some friends coming into town and that she had not been specific about who those friends were.

"Her children and I are very worried and very concerned for her well-being," Lowery said. "We're worried about her mental stability."

When asked to describe his wife, Lowery said, "She's a 34-year-old woman who has two young children. We're very concerned about her mental condition at this time. My mind's reeling 18 different directions. (We are) very concerned about her well being."

Christensen referred comment on Mike Lowery's statements to Comanche County Sheriff's officials.

Christensen, 38, did talk about his missing sister after being reached by phone at  the Bluffdale home of his late parents, Chris and Linda Christensen. Ryan Christensen said he and his wife, Megan, have been at his parents' home to settle their estate. Megan Christensen has set up the Find Amber Lowery Facebook page.

Christensen said Amber was born in Moab, Utah, the youngest of five siblings, and was raised in Kingman, Ariz. Their father was a helicopter pilot, and Amber was "daddy's little girl," Christensen said.

Amber Lowery began flying around 2003 and she worked as a helicopter instructor pilot, as well as an offshore pilot, before going to work for Air Evac Lifeteam. He said she and Mike Lowery have been married five or six years.

"She was always smiling, a positive person," Christensen said. "We're all proud of her. She's worked hard. She's a smart girl. She was an outstanding pilot. We love Amber, we miss Amber, we want her found."

Christensen said he'd spoken by phone with his sister the night of July 23 and she was supposed to be arriving in Bluffdale the next day. Christensen said his sister "would never just up and leave her kids. My absolute, driving hope is, we find her and get her home safe to her boys."

Christensen said he fears "somebody has her or something's happened to her. I think she's definitely in grave danger. I fear for her life genuinely."

Delette Gazaway, a flight nurse with the Brownwood Air Evac Lifeteam base, said Lowery's former co-workers are very concerned and "want her to be found."

Gazaway said Lowery was a good pilot and good to work with, and "loves her kids."

"We're upset. Our hands are kind of tied," Gazaway said. "We're sitting and waiting like everybody else."

Story, Photo, Comments/Reaction: