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Crime News Missing Persons

Two Years after Going Missing During a Morning Walk, a Georgia Mother Has Been Confirmed Dead

The two-year search for the Olivia Samantha Fowler has come to an end, but questions remain.

By Grace Jidoun
A photo of Olivia Samantha Fowler

A missing Georgia mother of three has been confirmed dead two years after she vanished on a morning walk.

Olivia Samantha Fowler, 27, was last seen on August 13, 2021, on Pebblebrook Road in Meriwether County, a quiet community an hour south of Atlanta. The police undertook an extensive search across multiple counties and states, implementing “land and air operations” and K9 dogs, Dateline reported last year. A break in the case finally came in December 2022 when a tip led police to the discovery of human remains in a local rural area. The Georgia Bureau of Investigations Crime Lab and the FBI Crime Lab worked together to expedite the identification of the body through DNA testing.

“On August 21, 2023, our personnel along with FBI Agents from the Columbus Resident Agency met with and notified the immediate family members of Olivia Samantha Fowler that the remains recovered in December 2022 were in fact Olivia as they were verified through DNA testing,” wrote Sheriff Chuck Smith in a press release on August 22.

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The case is not closed, however, as many unanswered questions remain. “This case will now be classified from a missing person case to a death investigation. There is still much evidence to be analyzed and processed.”

“Although the outcome of the disappearance of Olivia Samantha Fowler is not what any of the family or law enforcement wanted this investigation remains active and on-going. Our focus now is to allow the family to grieve,” Smith wrote in the press release. The update did not provide any information about how or why she died, and authorities have not named a suspect.

In an interview with Dateline last year, Olivia’s younger sister Roxanne opened up about her anguish over the disappearance, “It’s been hell,” Roxanne said. “There’s just literally no sign of her.” She explained that Olivia had unstable housing and divided her time between her mother’s house in Manchester and their father’s house in Woodbury, 15 minutes away.

After she went missing, family and friends jumped into action, distributing flyers in the community and displaying yard signs. Roxanne pointed out that Olivia had no history of mental illness, telling Dateline the disappearance was “very, very odd.”

“It’s a really small town, and everybody talks,” she said. “We only have one grocery store.”

Roxanne recounted to Dateline that Olivia spent the night at her boyfriend’s place in Manchester on August 12, two days before she was reported missing. “She told him she was going on the porch to smoke a cigarette,” Roxanne said, and when he woke up the morning of August 13, she was gone. Roxanne told Dateline that local residents reportedly saw her walking on his street around 7:30 a.m. An officer from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources placed her on Pebblebrook Road outside the town of Manchester at 10:30 a.m., her last known whereabouts. Roxanne said she believed Olivia was on her way to "The Cove," which is a well-known spot along the Flint River.

In the press release, Smith wrote, “The family would like the public to know that Olivia was not only a mother, but a daughter, a sister, a grandchild, and an important member of the Fowler family.”

The Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with relevant information to contact them or call the FBI tip line at 770-216-3000.

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