‘He didn’t deserve this’: Reward offered in death of ASU student Adam Dowdell

‘He didn’t deserve this’: Reward offered in death of ASU student Adam Dowdell

Reprinted from al.com

The grieving mother of a slain Alabama State University student said she is stunned by her son’s death.

Toya Cohill had been searching for her son, 22-year-old Adam Dowdell, for nearly a week yet she said she held out hope for a better ending. “I’m not good,” Cohill told AL.com Tuesday. “I’m not good at all.”

Dowdell’s body was discovered Monday afternoon, six days after he vanished. Central Alabama Crime Stoppers on Tuesday announced a reward starting at $1,000 for information leading to an arrest in the student’s death.

Dowdell graduated from Montevallo High School and his family lives in Alabaster. He was a sophomore at ASU.

Cohill said she last spoke with her son, affectionately known as “Belle,” on Monday, Sept. 7, and his siblings spoke with him on Tuesday. Early Wednesday, she started receiving messages from his friends that he had not returned to his dorm room and that no one had heard from him.

She said she’s learned that on Tuesday night that he left with another student saying he was going to get cash from the bank. He was last known to be wearing a white shirt, checkerboard pants and Air Jordan 12 sneakers. Dowdell did not have a car with him at school, and his mother said if he had been planning to be gone long, he would have taken his book bag and a phone charger with him. Both were left behind.

Cohill and other family members rushed to Montgomery Wednesday and remained there until Monday. They weren’t able to track his phone because the location was turned off and the phone was dead.

On Monday, Montgomery and ASU police about 2:45 p.m. responded to the 800 block of Hutchinson Street near the old Booker T. Washington High School after receiving a report of a possible body found. The body was transported to the Alabama Department of Forensic Science for an autopsy. After further investigation, the body was officially identified as Dowdell Jr., said Montgomery police Capt. Saba Coleman.

ASU President Quinton T. Ross Jr. released a statement Monday night about Dowdell’s death. He said Dowdell was a transfer student majoring in physical education. “We all had hoped for a different outcome,” Ross said. “Losing a student is always difficult, and the Hornet Nation is in mourning over his death. Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with Adam’s mother and the rest of his family and friends as they face this tragic loss.”

Cohill had just returned to her hotel room when she got a phone call from investigators. “They said they had something to speak with me about and I could go to them or they would come to me,” she said. “I knew when they said they’d come to me it wasn’t good.”

She said she is heartbroken. “We are all so lost, our hearts have just crumbled,” she said. “I didn’t expect this. My mind is blank.”

Dowdell wanted to be a special education teacher. His GPA ranged from a 3.4 to a 4.0. “He was a very smart kid,” Cohill said.

“Adam was a sweet, adorable kid,” she said. “He was very mannerable. Everybody loved him and he loved everybody. This shouldn’t have happened to him.”

Cohill said she doesn’t know why her son was killed but said the investigation is progressing and she’s confident she will get justice for his death. “It would mean a whole lot to me,” she said of an arrest.

Asked what she would say to the person or people who killed her son, Cohill said this: “I hope you rot in Hell. It’s just that simple.”

Police ask that anyone with information call Crime Stoppers at 334-215- STOP, Secret Witness at 334-625-4000 or Montgomery Police at 334-625-2831. Tips to Crime Stoppers can also be submitted via the P3-tips app.