JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The mother of a man who has been missing from Jacksonville for 16 years wants a memorial placed downtown, honoring missing people from the area.
Peg Rowan, the mother of 34-year-old John Rowan Jr., is still asking for answers in his disappearance.
The married father of two vanished in 2001, and his SUV was found a month later in Orlando. His mother fears he was murdered, but no one’s ever been charged.
“We have been desperate to get answers,” Peg Rowan said. “It has torn us apart physically, mentally, emotionally. We live it every day.”
The pain, agony and anxiety haven’t gone away for John Rowan’s family. His mom said it’s almost unbearable.
To deal with the grief, she meets with the loved ones of other missing people regularly.
“When John went missing, I never realized there were so many suffering from the same pain as myself, until we all got together,” Peg Rowan said.
Now, she’s trying to go one step further. For the past year, she's been raising money for a 10-foot Celtic cross to put in downtown Jacksonville in honor of those who have disappeared.
Rowan is asking for the community's help. She needs about $5,000 more to buy the cross and bring it from Ireland to be placed at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, a Catholic church downtown.
She said the monument will be a place for family and friends of the missing to come and reflect.
“Because we have no gravesite to go to, to visit on their birthdays and anniversaries, I decided to get a monument up for the missing,” Peg Rowan explained.
She said it will be so much more than a statue. It will be an everlasting symbol of hope and a reminder that the answers are out there.
“Somebody in Jacksonville knows something, so we are hoping that they will get a guilty conscience and come forward and say something,” Peg Rowan said.
Anyone with information about John Rowan's case or any others is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500.
To make a donation to the John Rowan Jr. foundation to help make the Celtic cross memorial a reality mail a check made payable to the John Rowan Jr. Foundation to 4435 Majestic Bluff Dr. S., Jacksonville, FL 32225. Donations can also be made via Paypal to email@example.com.