Troy Sowers had a dream of working with the FBI. He earned his bachelor’s degree in theology and accounting and went on to work in an accounting firm as an auditor. He always wanted to serve his country, so he joined the United States Air Force, where he served for four years. Later, he studied at the Naval Postgraduate School. There, he earned his master’s degree in homeland security studies. It was this training that pointed him toward his lifelong career and dream job, working with the FBI. He graduated from the FBI Academy in August 1997. His first post was at the Seattle Field Office.
Troy’s job as a field agent was in the Tacoma Resident Agency. His primary focus was on white-collar crime, violent crime, and terrorism. This is what led him to his first big case. He was on the job for just two months when a two-day-old baby named Stewart Rembert was kidnapped.
Melinda Coen gave birth to her son, Stewart, at St. Clare Hospital near Tacoma. A few hours after giving birth, a woman entered Melinda’s room. It was around 1:30 am, and the woman was wearing a white coat and told Melinda that she was a nursery nurse. According to hospital employees, there was also a new doctor on the floor that night. The new doctor appeared to know the layout of the hospital and claimed to have worked as an Army medic. The woman in the white coat told the staff in the obstetrics unit that she was from the nursery; they allowed her inside. Melinda had no reason not to believe the woman, so she let her to take her newborn away.
It was about 90 minutes after the baby was taken from Melinda’s room that the hospital staff realized that there was something wrong. The cradle was left by the hospital exit, and the baby was gone. The police had a sketch artist sketch the person who had taken the baby. This was all they had to go on.
A man working in a shop noticed a woman in the store with a newborn and two girls. He suspected the woman of stealing but had to let her go because he couldn’t prove that she did anything. Later, another staff member realized that the suspected thief might have taken the baby the day before. The employee remembered seeing the sketch of the woman who too Stewart on the news and realized that she might have been holding the baby. He told the police that he remembered her because of her jagged teeth. He managed to get the woman’s license plate and gave it to the police. When they tracked down 30-year-old Kimberly Skuzewski, she didn’t have a newborn baby with her.
Her Daughter Cracked
Kimberly denied ever taking Stewart from the hospital. The police took her two daughters in a separate room, and her 13-year-old daughter ended up cracking. She told the police that her mother took the newborn from the hospital. She told the police that her mother came home with a newborn baby, and told her that she bought him for $500. When Kimberly realized that the police were onto her, she lost the nerve to keep the baby, and she left him in a store beside a trash bin.
Saving Her Marriage
When Kimberly was arrested and found guilty, she told the court that she took the baby because she could no longer have children. She was hoping that a baby would save her marriage, and her desperation led her to kidnap the baby. She claimed that she didn’t plan the crime ahead of time. The court didn’t believe that her crime wasn’t premeditated, and she was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Kimberly was in custody, but the baby was still out there somewhere. This was where Troy came in. The first thing that he did was convince Kimberly to tell the police where she left the baby. He was worried when it came time to look for Stewart. The baby had been alone for several hours, so he didn’t know the condition. Troy says that when he found the baby, he wasn’t crying. He wasn’t even crying when Troy picked him up. When the baby nuzzled Troy’s neck, he knew that he would be alright. It was one of his first cases and one that Troy would never forget.
Today, Stewart is all grown up. He says that he led a normal life, and doesn’t think too much about the fact that he was kidnapped as a child. In the 22 years after Troy brought Stewart back to his mother, his career moved forward. He earned a promotion to the Counterterrorism Division, which brought him to Washington, D.C. Through it all, he never forgot about the kidnapping case that started his career. He decided to find the man who he saved as a baby.
A Retirement Party
When it was time for Troy to retire, Stewart was invited to the party. He wanted to be there because he knew that he might not be alive today if it weren’t for Troy. 22 years after this Marine was dumped in the trash as a baby, he was reunited with his rescuer. For both men, it was a beautiful moment.