Catherine ‘Catrina’ Diane Mowrey was 18-years-old when she and her sister Jo Ann left their family’s Kansas home for Dallas, Texas in 1979. Sadly, on June 25, 1985, Catrina’s body was found in the trunk of a Ford LTD that had been parked in an alley. Dallas police had been notified by a nearby apartment manager that an odor was emanating from the car. When police approached the car, they had noticed an abundance of flies in and out of the car. Police pried the trunk open, where they found Catrina’s body wrapped in a stained sheet. At the time, police believed Catrina died of a drug overdose, and her body was put in the car after her death.
Dallas investigators stated that they were not treating Catrina’s death as a murder because they didn’t know who put her in the trunk. They defended this action by saying that their belief was that she died on someone and that person got scared and put her in the trunk. Police were said to have a person of interest in mind, but allegedly the police could not find him.
However, as the years passed by, Dallas police were said to have been telling some members of Catrina’s family they were handling the matter. One of those family members were Catrina’s sister Deborah, who would routinely check with the Dallas PD for any progress.
During this time, Catrina and Deborah’s sister Jo Ann was also murdered in an unrelated case in 1993. Jo Ann’s murder also happened in Dallas. Jo Ann was in her early 30s at the time of her murder. Deborah attended the trial of Jo Ann’s murderer, and it’s believed that the trauma of having to see the crime scene photos from her sister Jo Ann’s murder negatively affected Deborah’s mental health.
As the years progressed, any assurances from the Dallas PD stopped. Meanwhile, Deborah had a daughter who she named Catrina, after her sister. When Catrina became an adult, she came to the conclusion that the Dallas PD may be giving her family the runaround. Catrina would work with her mother on getting as much information as possible about her aunt’s murder. Tragically, Deborah would take her own life in late 2020 after her mental health declined considerably in the later years of her life. She was 57 at the time of her passing.
In Catrina’s words, her mother’s suicide was the deciding factor to either press the issue, or let it go forever. She decided to press the issue further in seeking justice for her aunt. To accomplish that, she needed to once again try to get matters moving with the Dallas PD. When Catrina emailed the Cold Case Division of Dallas’ Homicide Unit, they couldn’t even find her Aunt Catrina’s death in their database. Keep in mind that her Aunt Catrina and Aunt Jo Ann both had the same last name, so you would think that at least one of their names would have popped up in their search. Once investigators were able to find the records, Catrina was told since her aunt’s death was listed as an unexplained death, it was not in their database. So, it has to be asked, what was the Dallas PD doing all these years?
This post is not intended as an indictment against the Dallas PD. This post’s purpose is to show the frustration and cost a family has endured for almost 37 years, and how you can help.
Catrina has set up a petition on Change.org in hopes of gaining the attention of law enforcement to her aunt’s case, so she can finally get some answers.
Please consider signing the petition and sharing it on social media. Help me in helping Catrina not only honor her aunt’s memory, but the memories of three sisters who were the best of friends to the very end.