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What I Learned Searching for My Vanished Mother

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty/Handout/FBI

These are the things I know about my mother’s disappearance.

On the night of Oct. 12, 1995, Tami Seymour, a blue-eyed, dishwater blonde heroin addict, ex-convict and sex worker—was living with my 8-year-old little sister at Ernie’s Motel, located on the 1700 block of Merkley Avenue in West Sacramento, California. Investigators told me that her ex-boyfriend was in the room that night with them and told them days later—when he reported her missing—that she’d walked to the convenience store to buy a pack of cigarettes and never returned.

A witness reportedly told detectives from the West Sacramento Police Department during their initial investigation that they saw my mother arguing with a drug dealer. Detective Tom Bowler, the first investigator assigned to my mom’s case, concluded my mother was likely murdered that night, but lacking a body or any other physical evidence, there was no way to know for sure.

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