Determined mother Cathy Terkanian is “convinced” that the adoptive father of the daughter she placed up for adoption in the ‘70s murdered her and “buried her in his backyard.”
Terkanian, a retired nurse, decided to wait until her daughter was a teenager before she would begin to look for her. She soon found out that the daughter — who she had named Alexis — had a closed adoption, meaning she was unable to learn more info about her, but in 2010, she received a letter from Social Services that changed her life forever.
The mother was informed that Alexis had gone missing when she was just 14 years old. Social Services wouldn’t release the name of her adoptive parents but did reveal the state her daughter had gone missing in. Terkanian and her husband began searching the internet and eventually uncovered the name of her daughter, Aundria Bowman, on a Michigan police website.
Aundria Bowman, Cathy Terkanian’s biological daughter.
Terkanian discovered that Aundria had previously told friends that she was sexually assaulted by her adoptive father, Dennis Bowman. She also found out that Dennis pled guilty to assaulting a 19-year-old woman in 1980, who he tried to lure into the woods.
Terkanian took matters into her own hands, reached out to Michigan authorities and passed out fliers to find her missing daughter.
In November 2019, when Dennis was charged with murder after DNA linked him to killing 25-year-old Kathleen Doyle, he allegedly admitted to authorities that he’d hit Aundria during an argument, causing her to fall down the stairs and break her neck.
Terkanian told Dr. Oz that Dennis said he “put her Aundria in a garbage can, and the garbage man took her off.”
The grieving mother could feel in her gut that Dennis was lying. “Several different things brought me to the conclusion that since I believed he felt he owned her,” she said on Thursday, December 10, episode of The Dr. Oz Show. “He did not just throw her body in the garbage, that he kept her. And I was convinced that his sociopathic mind had taken her and buried her in his backyard.”
Earlier this year, authorities found Aundria’s remains in Dennis’ backyard. Dennis has since been charged with homicide, child abuse and mutilation of a human body.
However, Dennis denies he killed Aundria. "I am the father of two lovely daughters, one 25 and the other 11, and feel that being a parent is one of the most important and sobering things a person can undertake," he wrote in a letter to the judge, WXMI reported.
Dennis has yet to enter into a plea deal.